Definition: Organisational alignment is the extent to which people, processes and technology are coordinated, focused and effectively pursuing the strategic objectives of the organisation.  Goal Atlas 2017

Three key elements of organisational alignment are encompassed by this definition.

  1. What is it we are trying to align? Organisational alignment is inevitably a broad concept, and hence we define its scope as people, process and technology.
  2. What do we mean by alignment? The literal definition of alignment is ‘the arrangement or positioning of parts in relation to one another’.  Making the concept apply to business, we include;
    i) coordination – having elements of the organisation working in harmony with each other
    ii) focus – ensuring  priorities across the organisation are similar and
    iii) effective action – ensuring alignment achieves a result and that this result serves a business purpose in an effective way.
  3. What objective is sought from organisational alignment? To pursue the strategic objectives of the organisation.  It is these strategic objectives that ensure the organisation’s alignment with its business environment, since strategy is itself a response to environmental pressures, such as, customer needs and competitor actions.

Photo credit: Eight men rowing from Danshutter /

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