| Quiet Water Associates (QWA) provides
management alignment and consulting services on a worldwide
basis, assisting corporate boards and CEO’s/GM’s to ensure
that the senior management team is all “pulling in the same
direction.” QWA’s team of senior managers have successful
track records across multiple disciplines in over 20 countries
worldwide and have seen the challenge of management alignment
from very early stage companies to some of the largest
employers in the world.
The Path to Business Success:
There are the obvious keys to success in business-products and/or services that address a marketplace need at an appropriate price point, positive net income and/or cash flow, distribution channels that can move the product/service into the market, financial resources, etc. However there is one area that is as crucial to the success of an enterprise that often receives minimal proactive attention and that is senior management alignment.
In most companies the senior team spends a great deal of time together and there is at least a theoretical presumption that the team should be aligned in their view of company strategy and next steps, priorities, threats and opportunities. However, experience has shown that a surprisingly large number of companies-small, medium and large-often have some fundamental misalignment between the views of the senior team members in terms of these items. And this is many times true even if the team feels like they are generally aligned. Teams have a tendency to become myopic and unable to recognize the signs of this discontinuity from the inside. Many times the discontinuities are not that large from individual to individual, but when taken across the sum total of a management team some rather large holes can emerge on some very substantial issues of strategy and execution. These holes can seriously impact the efficient execution of a well thought out plan or even hinder the development of that type of plan.
Management teams have also shown that they are not particularly effective in a lot of instances where self-analysis and alignment are required and they are even less effective at identifying corrective steps. Experience indicates that an external intervention can assist senior teams in identifying their alignment issues, putting some corrective measures in place and enabling a more efficient execution of the business. Equally as importantly, this result can be accomplished with a modest amount of senior management time and external expense.