The Alignd Method

We built Alignd around how progress really happens - through shared clarity and focus on the things that matter most.

Implementing strategies is hard. As much as 90% of them fail. By blending timeless wisdom and emergent technologies, we created a platform and methodology that simplifies the process of staying on the same page and accelerates progress. We believe it will make your strategy among the 10% that succeed.

Five Principles

Here are the evolving set of principles that guide “the Alignd Method,” developed by our team of strategists, developers, organizational psychologists and…humans.

Get on the same page

Clarity precedes success

Everything begins with shared clarity - what are we collectively working towards and why? What is the ever-evolving set of strategies that will get us there? What are the most important things right now? And are our people (our most valuable asset) focused on those things? The answers to these questions establish shared clarity.

It is that clarity that precedes success.

Prioritize what matters

Strategy happens at the fork in the road

Executing a strategy requires a series of coordinated decisions - a fork in the road that leads one way or the other. If everything is the most important, nothing is.

Strategy is, in a real sense, about deciding what not to do. Say no to the good, so you can say yes to the great.

Be intentional with your focus

Where focus goes, energy flows.

The catalyzing mechanism of Alignd is based on the daily and weekly ritual of strategic intention setting. Strategies succeed or fail in the daily and weekly rhythm of your business - and on your team’s ability to focus on what matters most.

We think of strategy like a daily meal. You may have eaten yesterday, but - to be your best self - you’ll want to eat again today. That “daily meal” is a fresh opportunity to make a choice. However, being full doesn’t mean you’re nourished. In the same way, being busy at work is not the same as being productive. As Hemingway said, “never confuse movement with action.”

Time and energy are finite resources - they should flow with purpose. Intentions create reality.

Lean into inter-dependence

No one can whistle a symphony.

Success hinges on your ability to coordinate your focus and energy to those around you. Put another way, in every great organization, the whole is always greater than the sum of the parts. Seeing what your inter-dependents are focused on will unblock you, accelerate your efforts and unleash your team’s potential. In the orchestra, if the cello ignores the oboe, and the timpani plays without regard for the clarinet, it’s not music…it’s just noise.

Check the score

Knowing where you are is the only way to get where you’re going.

Frequency of reviews (who’s moving where, what’s our progress, where are there roadblocks, duplications…) increases your ability to predict success. Establishing transparency of focus and intention makes it possible to assess clarity and alignment in real-time. In other words, are we moving together in the direction of what matters? The answer to this question is the leading indicator of future success.

How Alignd enables the five principles

Be on the same page
Goals

Alignd creates a single-source of truth of the strategic path forward — from the longer-term goals to short-term success criteria. This creates shared clarity around what matters most.

Prioritize what matters
Team and Individual Week

Alignd makes it easy to set and update strategic weekly intentions that ladder up to goals. This happens on the Team-level and by individuals setting the key priorities for the week.

Be intentional with your focus
Today

With the “daily sticky,” individuals take a moment of strategic intention setting and share that strategic focus with team members.

Lean into inter-dependence
Teams and People

Alignd creates asynchronous visibility to what teams are focused on, and who is on which team. The platform makes it easy to find and leverage the skills and proficiencies that exist with the organization.

Check the score
Insights

The insights and reporting provide a real-time picture of where focus is flowing. This data represents leading indicators of future success or early warning signs of misalignment. The goals page also provides regular assessments of progress.

Practices for successful implementation

Through our work over the years with dynamic companies of all sizes (from incumbent Fortune 500 with 40,000 global employees to disruptive startups with five team members), we have seen brilliant ideas with world-changing potential fail. We have also enabled others to take root, take form and take off, and our methodology distills the common elements present in those successes.

Here are our practices for successful strategic implementation

1. Start with clarity within the Senior Leadership Team

Clarity of purpose and prioritization cascades from the top. We begin by supporting the SLT in establishing a strategic roadmap that makes shared clarity possible. Strategy gets written right to left but implemented left to right, so once there’s clarity within the SLT, department leads and team leads become the stewards of success as your strategy gets implemented — again, in the daily and weekly rhythm of your business.

Leaders at all levels need to model clarity, coordination and connection. By doing so, the act of sharing one’s daily “key focus” and weekly intentions is a foundational process of driving collective awareness that enables greater pace and precision (and shared success).

2. Clarify the Levels of your Strategic Implementation.

We harnessed decades of knowledge uncovering how organizations succeed when developing Alignd. But we also acknowledge that different organizations use different vocabulary when creating structure to strategic initiatives. For that reason, we have designed the platform with some flexibility and configurability. Our recommended framework is our Four Levels of Strategic Implementation. This framework provides a northstar at the top and a flexible roadmap that focuses the energy of individuals and the collective teams. The default language draws from mountaineering, an intentional metaphor for methodical progress towards ambitious goals (though it can be configured to match language successfully used in your organization). These four levels are:

Mountain

The big hairy and audacious organizational goals for this year or beyond — company-level goals.

  • Overarching goals that align with the organization’s mission and vision.
  • At the highest level, these present big picture realities that need to be true to move you closer to your purpose.
  • These are typically set by top management and provide direction for the entire organization.

Examples include...

Basecamp

Areas of strategic focus established along your journey to the summit, serving as strategic pillars for planning and coordination. They are generally interdepartmental / cross-functional focus areas that are required to move the business forward towards the top-level goals.

  • These are thematic areas of focus that include cross-departmental projects, resource allocation strategies or organizational structuring that enables you to scale the Mountains.
  • Each Base Camp delineates specific domains of activity or strategic initiatives that are essential for achieving the top-level goals.
  • Base Camps serve as the organizing framework for aligning resources, efforts and initiatives across the organization.
  • Base Camps are focused strides in the direction of the mountain.

Examples include...

Route

Specific paths to success that lead from the Base Camps. They are big and definable objectives (often called “the rocks”) that together define success within that strategic focus area - often team-level goals.

  • Routes are more granular and actionable, providing clear targets for performance and progress.
  • They represent the key milestones or outcomes along the path to success that must be achieved to advance the organization’s strategic agenda within the Base Camp.
  • Routes provide clarity and focus, guiding the allocation of resources and efforts towards priority areas.

Examples include...

Marker

These are waypoints and identifiable points along the route that indicate progress and provide guidance and direction. These are the measurable results that are necessary to achieve the stated objectives expressed in the Routes.

  • These are the metrics that are tangible indicators of progress and enable tracking and evaluation of performance.
  • Markers are specific, quantifiable, and time-bound, allowing for objective assessment of progress and alignment with strategic goals.
  • They serve as the basis for monitoring and adjusting strategies and initiatives to ensure they are on track to deer the desired outcomes.

Examples include...

3. Empower Coordinated Agililty.

Coordinated agility allows for informed empowered decision making, through transparent information sharing. We define "Coordinated Agility" as the ability of an organization or a team to swiftly adapt and respond to changing circumstances while maintaining alignment and coherence across its various components. It requires a common understanding of what matters most and whether adequate strategic energy is flowing towards them.

The murmuration of Coordinated Agility

The murmuration of coordinated agility is like Starlings

Rich Price
Co-founder at Alignd

The murmuration of starlings is a natural phenomenon that is not just mesmerizing in its beauty, it’s a useful metaphor for how a modern organization should aspire to move. These flock movements are characterized by the synchronized, swirling movements of thousands of starlings flying together in cohesive and fluid formations. They form ever-changing shapes, undulating waves, twisting vortexes and billowing clouds of starlings.

This remarkable coordination is rooted in awareness. Scientists have studied these flock movements and, through computer and mathematical modeling, have determined that each starling seems to have visibility to the outer edges of the flock but is, in particular, aware of the refined movements of about seven other starlings around it. It is through this combined “vision of the whole” and an awareness of the specific movements of a small cohort that enable the entire flock to move with remarkable fluidity. We call this “coordinated agility,” and our platform and our methodology aspires to enable this type of beautiful synchronization.

Another way to consider the concept of murmuration is in the framework of “Team of Teams.” “Team of Teams” is an organizational mindset that combines the agility, adaptability and cohesion of a small team with the power and resources of a larger organization. As the walls and silos that typically exist between teams within an organization are dismantled, a paradoxical benefit emerges: the more cross-functional transparency that exists, the greater the autonomy for rapid, decentralized decision-making. The key principles - which the starlings utilize - focus on overcoming 'interface failures' (ie. the points where the individuals'/teams' work touches one another's).

One last thing about the missing “e”

You may have noticed that Alignd is missing an “e.” It’s not by accident. We were inspired by a slide deck from our founding customer, BETA Technologies. Kyle Clark, the visionary founder of BETA, shared a page that simply said: “SMPLFY - 25% more efficient. 100% effective.” How much more can we do if we can do it more efficiently? Work smarter, not harder. As such, Alignd is 14.5% more efficient. What can you achieve if Alignd unlocks the same in your organization?

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