Organizational Alignment Research LO6076

Virginia I. Shafer (
Sat, 9 Mar 1996 12:23:22 -0700 (MST)

Replying to LO6051 --

Michael McMasters wrote:
>I suggest that alignment on anything explicit is not necessary and
>that it's pursuit is often harmful. But I'll stick to the "not
>necessary" for this case.
>He did not offer anything more common than his own desire to save the
>plant. We did not work on or even talk about vision, mission or
>common intentions throughout the transformation effort.
>We did talk about mechanisms, about communications and relationships,
>and about what it was like to work in that particular place from
>experience. We did not even have any explicit values conversation
>although they were always present in the background. However, in
>this area too, we made no attempt to come to alignment or even
>explicit statements.

It's funny, but from my perspective, this plant was in perfect alignment
with the concept of survival. The manager's stated desire to save the
plant was the only explicit statement and common intention needed. I
agree it would have been harmful and a waste of valuable time if you
insisted they get a "vision, a mission," etc., when their's was obvious.

Scott, I believe Michael's story to be an excellent example of the power
of alignment. It reminds me of the situation in Goldratt's _The Goal_.
The measure of alignment would have been to ask any one or a sample of
people in the plant, "What are you working for today?"


Ginger Shafer The Leadership Dimension "Bringing Leadership to Life"

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