When I was younger I used to ski quite regularly on the Scottish Cairngorms, near Aviemore. Each morning I would check the weather, knowing that the merest hint of a breeze down in the glen would mean that a gale would be blowing on the mountaintop.
Executive alignment is very similar to the weather conditions in the Cairngorms. Tiny differences of opinion in the boardroom can become huge divisions across the organisation. I call this The Cairngorms’ Syndrome.
Yesterday, for example, I was working with a client where two of the senior leaders had slightly different ideas about the best way to tackle an issue. These differences were left unresolved.
My hunch is that their inability to reach genuine alignment will mean that their respective teams will be unable to make any material progress over the next couple of months in, jointly, finding a solution. The two groups will be working to different objectives and parameters.
One of your key jobs, as a leader of your organisation, is to surface, debate and resolve the critical differences that exist between members of your team. Only then will you have created the conditions for real and rapid progress across your company.
Believe me, it’s not much fun skiing in 60 mph winds.
© Stuart Cross 2009. All rights reserved.