Mar 22, 2019
In today’s episode of the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast, your host, Dan Neumann, is joined by repeat guest, Chris Spagnuolo. Chris is a product specialist at AgileThought, serving as the Principal Consultant of Product Management and Innovation. He has a deep background in product strategy and development, and is incredibly passionate about all things related to design thinking, Lean Startup and agile.
Today, Dan and Chris will be looking at some of the challenges around alignment and autonomy within organizations.
It’s not unusual to go into an organization and see that things are are out of sync from top to bottom—and usually, the root cause of most of these problems is a lack of alignment. Lack of alignment within an organization manifests in many ways, from a lack of discretionary effort from employees to ample activity that’s not meeting the market needs or advancing the strategy of the organization. In this episode, Chris helps identify these failure patterns, along with the success patterns. He also gives a thorough 101 on OKRs (Objectives and Key Results)—a powerful strategy to better align an organization.
The ways that a lack of alignment manifests in an organization (AKA failure patterns):
Strategies that are not meeting their goals from lack of implementation
Ample activity that’s not meeting the market needs or advancing the strategy of the organization
Interruptions and a high volume of requests
Focusing on the emergent work that’s truly not important or urgent
A lot of autonomy with no alignment
Really high alignment with no autonomy
Low autonomy and low alignment
A lack of discretionary effort from employees
How to better align your organization (AKA success patterns):
High autonomy and high alignment
Focus on the emergent work that is important
Join autonomy and alignment together
Commit to the organization’s culture with high engagement
Maximize the creative potential of employees, allowing them to consistently achieve goals
Make sure everyone is aligned with the overall decisions
Internalize the mission statement and live the vision of the organization
OKR (Objectives and Key Results) 101:
Created by John Doerr
It’s a stated objective and two or three key results that are used to measure how an organization is moving towards that objective
Helps with alignment within an organization because they are cascaded throughout the organization (and every level that is cascaded down builds their own OKR set that has to directly align with the level above them)
They give lots of autonomy, allowing the people within the organization to decide how they’re going to execute and what strategy they’re going to build to meet the organization’s top-level goal
They’re very adaptable
It’s important to set difficult, audacious goals (that, even if you hit 75% of them, would still have a great outcome)
Mentioned in this Episode:
Chris Spagnuolo’s Book Pick
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