Strategic Work Alignment

Mark Jepperson, Consultant

Mark Jepperson, Consultant

People generally want to do good work, perform well, apply their skills, and contribute to customer success and to company profit. Yet in spite of this good will and positive intention, “work” often gets a bad name. While there are many individual reasons for this perception, they all tend to group under one category called work misalignment. The employment experience should foster a happy exercise in cooperation, collaboration, and communication, especially in ways that would efficiently produce value for the customer and profit for the company; however, often it does not.

Consider some typical work challenges nearly every company faces:


  • Ineffective leadership
  • Conflict management
  • Miscommunication
  • Employee turnover
  • Employee dissatisfaction
  • Poor problem resolution
  • Low performance and quality
  • Eroding profits
  • Negative work culture

These challenges create waste in business processes, erode profits, and lead to an ongoing and often negative systemic work culture that sustains the status quo. Leaders continually wrestle with these issues and try to improve performance so that their organizations can prosper. They create training programs, implement metrics, change initiatives, and more; but these efforts are all within the existing notions of work in mind.  In contrast, Strategic Work Alignment incorporates the ‘tipped hierarchy’ (shown on the next page) of work to deliver improved results. It is a top-to-bottom alignment process, including the alignment of that work with the work approach of individual performers.

Strategic Work Alignment

Strategic Work Alignment is a framework that facilitates the design of work to make it possible to fulfill the performance needs of both the organization and its employees. It moves beyond the what” of work to the crucial how” work is accomplished. With Strategic Work Alignment you can:

  • Understand and design for success in your executives, leaders and employees
  • Design the success characteristics for job or role fit in individuals and teams
  • Hire for fit along with skill to identify the right individuals for the design of the role or job
  • Improve organizational effectiveness and productivity through work alignment methods
  • Understand and deliver the right organizational design for the work at hand
  • Understand and implement change better by using a framework for work and employees

As simple as that is to say, these improvements cannot be accomplished without a framework of support, tools, processes, and education. In large scale change the best place to start is with leadership. And then they can cascade Strategic Work Alignment efforts to permeate the entire organization as a part of the work culture.  In smaller scale change it can be focused on the issue or team chartered to address a specific challenge at hand.

Related Articles: The Process of Strategic Work Alignment; WorkStyle Patterns® (WSPTM) Inventories

Copyright © 2014 by The McFletcher Corporation and Working Change LLC in association with Strategy1

As you read through this article, what scenario or challenge facing your company did you have in mind? I would love to discuss this with you at your convenience.