Posts tagged “Alignment

Future You

Posted on January 8, 2017


My best personal planning occurs when I consider the context of my situation – past, present, future – and act in the best interest of my future self. In its simplest form it’s asking, will I tomorrow be pleased with the decisions I make today? Especially as New Year’s resolutions start to fade into post-holiday realities, I encourage you to plan – and progress – the optimal future you. The Past Recognize the connection of past decisions to present situations. Personal histories in health, in education, in career, in relationships, etc. are too frequently rationalized in hindsight, rather than fully related to the present. In financial hardships, for example, the real villain is often the victim’s past self. The point is not to beat yourself up…

Alignment versus Consensus

Posted on August 5, 2016


There’s a subtle but important difference between consensus and alignment in organizations. Consensus feels safe, but it can take herculean efforts to reach outliers, sway resistors and convince skeptics on the way to agreement. Alignment is more about arrangement and positioning. Sometimes you don’t need people to agree, you need them to align…just enough to move forward. *

How Many Rooms?

Posted on December 26, 2015


I like to use a room analogy when discussing change. It goes a little something like this: Picture yourself walking into an adjoining room that is exactly the same as the one you’re currently in…except for one thing. You get to pick one thing to change. It could be an artifact, a person’s presence, new information, whatever…add, alter or remove. Same thing as you walk into the next room…one more thing. How many rooms would you need to pass through to reach your ideal state? Would you spend more time in some rooms than others? Is there a final room? What can you do now to bypass rooms? It’s a positive (and less morbid) spin on Bill James’ thinking about capacity for action and steering away from situations:…

It’s All Trade-offs

Posted on August 22, 2015


“There’s a choice that we have to make as people, as individuals. If you want to be great at something, there’s a choice that you have to make. We all can be masters at our craft. But you have to make a choice. What I mean by that is, there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that…There are sacrifices that come along with making the decision.” –Kobe Bryant on choices *


Posted on August 15, 2015


I like to talk about alignment with my clients. Know your objective, method and end-state. Don’t work at cross-purposes. Make aligned choices. Etc. While it’s great that purpose is being discussed more frequently, it’s a constant challenge to limit the drift toward corporate propaganda. What is tactical enough to guide real action AND honest? Save the world? Provide net positive value? Obey the law? Go home happy? More money for everybody, as one of my clients says frequently? Something else? “There’s always a good reason and a real reason.” –James Altucher *

Big and Basic

Posted on July 26, 2015


In Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot, Jim Stockdale recounts: There used to be a guy at Patuxent River – first as a navy pilot and then back to Test Pilot School (TPS) as a civilian test pilot. His name was Bud Holcombe. He had made his navy reputation at Pax as a dead stick landing expert, taking up each modern jet in turn, shutting down the engine and “writing the book” on the best way to dead stick it in. I was with Bud at TPS, and he could see that I was preoccupied with trying to memorize lists. I was fidgety, with little previous jet experience, trying to remember exactly the recommended air start procedures of the seventeen or so new airplane…


Posted on May 9, 2015


Most activities have multiple stakeholders involved, each with varying motivations. Consider the parties and desires influencing a recent in-person banking transaction: Customer – complete a single transaction Branch representative – sell additional services to the customer Branch manager – grow the branch location’s business Bank call center representative #1 – end the branch phone call as quickly as possible Bank call center representative #2 – make the branch representative happy Bank call center supervisor – resolve escalated issues With so many of these at odds and multiple steps away from a final result, it’s no wonder processes appear to be broken. No relationship context. Limited local authority to resolve an issue. Limited personal incentive. Front-office versus back-office. Establishing and maintaining stakeholder alignment is difficult. The greater quantity and variety…