Companywide alignment key to leveraging

06/14/2013 11:07:00 AM
David Dever and Kerry Tucker

Professing these values on a regular basis reinforces the expectations we have of Sun World associates. It’s not a one-time exercise. Success lies in it becoming an integral part of the culture of your enterprise.

There are a number of questions that can help employees grasp and support values (or for that matter, vision, mission, core competencies, competitive advantages, social responsibility, even strategic priorities):

 

  •  What does this (core value) mean to you?
  •  What do you need to do differently to live it?
  •  What do we/you need to stop doing?
  •  Where do we/you focus to make the biggest difference (in living these values or whatever strategic piece you’re talking about)?

 

Together, Sun World’s senior executive team developed six priority objectives and 11 strategic initiatives to better align behind a “world-class” business strategy to deliver the freshest product — grapes, tree fruit, citrus and peppers — to our customers and ultimately the end consumer.

More than 120 of Sun World associates, working through horizontal supply chain teams, created an implementation plan and a perpetual improvement program.

The company also made a number of structural adjustments. Five industry experts were hired, three departments were added and others were changed.

Individual standards of performance are also being tied to alignment behaviors as incentives and the company is ramping up its technology-driven systems.

In another example, the heart and soul of Nuffer, Smith, Tucker client Ocean Mist Farms is its alignment on core values.

In recent years the company focus has expanded to aligning employees behind the company’s competitive advantages. Initially, management clarified and quantified each competitive advantage, tested each with customers and made adjustments.

Now a plan is in place to help employees “live and breathe” these competitive advantages as well as helping the company recognize what it has to do to maintain each advantage. It’s an ongoing process of challenging employees to continuous improvement.

Success in planning depends to a large degree on how well a company is strategically aligned from the bottom up and how the culture supports whatever plans are in play.

You can’t align an organization without engaging employees at all levels in at least understanding the direction you want to take the company and helping them determine their role in getting you there.



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