is a consummate professional.
Her experience enabled her
to zoom in on our
organizational needs and develop practical
solutions that worked for us."
Cristina Alvarado, Executive Director,
Child Care Information
organizations are vertically aligned from top to bottom. Starting with a
vision, mission and values, the vertically aligned organization develops a
strategic plan with goals, timetables, mileposts and a continuous quality
improvement feedback loop to support the vision, mission and values.
the success of the vertically aligned organization is the hiring, managing
and motivating of a work force that is charged with reaching the goals that
support the strategic plan, which in turn supports the organizational
vision, mission and values.
to achieving this world-class organization is to ensure at each step in the
process that the goals, people and outcomes are aligned with the vision,
mission and values.
An audit is designed to determine whether an organization is in vertical
alignment, to recommend adjustments to organizational actions to achieve or
sustain alignment, and to develop programs, policies and practices to ensure
people are motivated to stay on track.
Assessment, Documentation, Goal Setting and Execution
Audit results advocate actions for an organization to take to move it from
where it is today to where it ought to be to achieve or sustain vertical
alignment. This process involves an assessment, documentation of the
findings, goal setting, execution, and development of a continuous quality
improvement loop. Specific steps include the following:
Assessment - After reviewing organizational information such as annual
reports, strategic plans, annual goals, personnel policies and procedures,
and interviewing the audit sponsors, OEG develops an audit or survey
instrument to be completed by stakeholders. Selected, voluntary and
confidential interviews are included to further develop audit response
Documentation/Recommendations - After tallying audit/survey results
including interview notes, OEG drafts a report that includes
recommendations, timetables, accountable parties and resources needed to
achieve or sustain organizational alignment. OEG develops a series of
alternative recommendations, recognizing that each organization is
unique--thus working to achieve the desired vertical alignment at the most
optimal time for the organization. OEG provides written documentation of the
results and also makes presentations to appropriate stakeholders, such as
board members and employees, as requested.
Goal Setting - Once audit sponsors determine which recommendations to
pursue, OEG works to assist the organization in developing appropriate goals
and timetables, designating who ought to be responsible to achieve the
goals, and determining what resources are needed.
Examples of achieving or sustaining the world-class vertical alignment model
For example, recommendations to achieve or sustain the world-class vertical
alignment model have included, any or all of the following:
Retreat or other facilitated session to determine the applicability of the
organization's vision, mission and values and to adjust them, as
Retreat or other facilitated session or small group work to determine what
few over-arching goals ought to be pursued, who within the group should be
the accountable party(ies) for achieving these goals and what resources
are needed to support the organizational vision, mission and values.
Retreat or other facilitated session or small group work to develop action
plans, task assignments, timetables, and to designate responsible parties
within a group or department to achieve the goals outlined.
Development of hiring, training, cross-training, succession planning or
other training and development plans to ensure the people in place or
those to be hired have the skills and competencies to achieve the
organizational goals determined to achieve alignment.
Development of pay and performance management systems to motivate
employees to achieve desired results.
Development of a continuous quality improvement feedback loop to ensure
vertical alignment is achieved and sustained.
Execution: Achieving Desired Goals - The organization selects a project
sponsor to finalize the vertical alignment plan, which includes specific
goals, timetables and responsible/accountable parties. The project sponsor
is charged with keeping all action on track, for motivating responsible
parties for achieving results, for providing resources to complete actions
and for rewarding actions and workplace behaviors that achieve results.
Continuous Quality Improvement Feedback Loop - The World-Class
vertically aligned organization is continuously improving its processes and
procedures to maintain and sustain alignment in an ever-changing
environment. A feedback loop, which could include periodic stakeholder
assessments, annual or biannual retreats or other feedback vehicles must be
embedded into the process to ensure the organization achieves and sustains
Services Provided and Products Used
OEG's services and products are tailor-made to meet the unique needs of the
organization. The initial audit or survey instrument is custom-designed to
elicit feedback on the specific services, products and needs of the
organization to be assessed. Organizational recommendations flow from the
audit/survey results and, thus, are dependent upon the audit findings.
Alternative recommendations are developed since OEG recognizes that
organizations follow timetables that best suit their needs.
Recommendations fall into six main categories, as follows:
applicability of vision, mission and values;
alignment of organizational goals with the vision, mission and values;
alignment of department and individual action plans with organizational
assurance that employee skills and competencies exist to achieve goals;
development of systems to reinforce and reward employee behavior; and
development of a continuous quality improvement feedback loop.
provides or recommends the professionals to assist the organization in
achieving or sustaining World-class vertical alignment. These professionals
are experienced in traditional organizational systems and also have
developed leading-edge systems. For example, the compensation expert has
developed traditional market-based pay and performance management systems,
as well as systems and programs ranging from skills- and competency-based
pay to incentive compensation plans to stock option plans.