Home > management, technical > Alignment


  1. chiropractifish
    September 10, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    interestingly, I’ve been thinking a lot about your alignment post recently. we had an incident this week while training our org on some upcoming changes to some enterprise software, based on months of user feedback, planning group involvement, and management buy-in.

    top-level management and their next level minions had all accepted the changes being instituted, and had been pushing their acceptance downward through the various dic-levels.

    in one training session, one of these uppermost-level corpos began voicing his negative opinions regarding this software and the changes we are implementing–with several of his direct reports and others in the session. This despite the fact that top=level had approved both the changes and the expenditures to implement them,adversely affecting the opinions of the people who will be relying on this software to communicate processes into the org.

    in addition, this individual had been asked to participate in the user feedback and decision-making process for more than a year, but has declined any involvement. (he’s also proud of the fact that he has never even logged in to the system once in 16 months!)

    anyway, back to your chart: it strikes me that your pyramids are all upside down. if top-level management has supported a direction, and all but one of the next-level corpos is in alignment, his dis-ALIGNMENT will cause complete disruption, as one side of the pyramid loses support and topples. in this case, everyone else’s arrows are pointing upward, except for the one dude and those influenced by him in the other layers.

    a major crack in the plaster.

    • September 11, 2010 at 4:11 am

      Thanks for the interesting but unsurprising story filetofishmonger. It’s sad (but again unsurprising to me) that the passive aggressive high level mgr you talk about put himself first over the “whole”. Since the higher one goes up the triangle, the more influence one has on those below, a high up dude can cause much misalignment below him/her.

      I don’t understand what you mean by “upside down”. If I did, I’d try to draw your idea into existence.

      The 3 org examples in the drawing are intended to be just that, examples. There are an infinite number ways to characterize orgs via the model, and these are just three random snapshots. The org2 example is pretty unlikely, even for a short amount of time to rally around some honorable initiative. Even if extreme force is applied in an attempt to achieve “total” alignment, it will just end up being a facade to the dudes applying the force. There will always be some passive-aggressive dudes like your mgr that “appear” to their bosses to be aligned but clearly aren’t. And like your story shows, these guys/gals influence those below them, causing greater misalignment. Bummer.

  2. chiropractifish
    September 11, 2010 at 7:44 am

    stand your pyramid on it’s point. all the support (like atlas beneath the world) resides with the strength of the ceo. his alignment arrow of force is ‘up’.his next level abeov then is his group of capo’s (crap-o’s?) he supports those 4, who become the corners of the next level of support. in a functioning system, they to are aligned ‘up’ to support the next layer above.

    in my case, one of those clowns is sitting down on his but reading his ipad instead of providing the necessary support to hold up his side of the pyramid, which is now crumbling down–we’ve had two sales ‘managers’ beneath him leave so far.

  3. September 11, 2010 at 7:59 am

    NICE! Customers are supported by employees, who are supported by managers, etc.

  1. September 21, 2010 at 5:11 am

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