Karrikins Group’s Chief Growth Enabler, Julie Williamson, PhD, hosts a 20-minute coffee break webinar on how to accelerate growth and amplify impact in 2021 by getting clear on your WHY, WHAT, and HOW:

In our experience partnering with senior leaders to drive transformation, we’ve learned that one of the biggest challenges to change comes up when executives confuse surface-level agreement with the hard work of aligning to deliver on transformation.

Guess what the results are of not moving from agreement to alignment?

A lot of nodding heads saying ‘Yes, that’s what we should do,’ and not a lot of thoughtful consideration of what needs to start, stop, and change. When leaders leave the room, nothing changes. Decisions aren’t different, investments don’t shift, behaviors don’t adjust, what gets communicated doesn’t get refreshed – nothing changes. And as a result, the outcomes stay the same.

Misalignment malaise is common in all kinds of businesses – it is industry, market, and size agnostic. If you are looking to transform your organization, investing in aligning leaders during transformation will return to you exponentially. Not only will your leaders be more successful in delivering on today’s transformation, they will also develop the skills and intuition to align themselves and others going forward. They will learn to detect misalignment faster and respond to it better, driving more efficient and effective results.

So what does leadership alignment look like in the real world?

Many leaders are happy to believe that agreement is enough. It isn’t. Agreement doesn’t deliver transformative results.

Leadership alignment to transformation looks like this:

  • Moving budgets and people to other groups
  • Stopping favorite programs and projects
  • Delaying short term results for long term impact
  • Letting go of traditional symbols of power, success, and status
  • Changing hiring guidelines and reassessing talent
  • Reassessing supplier relationships
  • Developing new leadership skills at the most senior levels
  • Reimagining distribution models

It takes a courageous leader to go first and do the hard work of aligning to deliver on the promise of transformation. And no individual leader can do it alone – the most senior leaders in the organization must align and deliver together for success.

If it is so hard, why do it?

We see three main reasons to invest in the hard work of aligning leaders:

  1. Financial opportunities are realized more quickly as cohesive and informed investments are made, and existing efforts are redirected to be inside the guardrails for alignment. When leaders agree to the goals of a transformation, there should be an expectation that they are reviewing their own P&L, budgets, and short to mid-term goals and revising them based on what it will take to deliver on the new direction. No senior leader can be immune to this process.
  2. The energy of employees is unified toward the desired end state. Nothing is more frustrating to employees than hearing one thing and seeing something completely different from leaders. Employees check out quickly and trust deteriorates when leaders don’t have consistency between internal communications and collective leadership action, so ensuring that leaders show up aligned to the transformation goals is important to keep the organization’s energy focused in the right direction.
  3. Customer engagement and marketplace support for the transformation will increase significantly if customers and external stakeholders see leaders actively aligning their behaviors, decisions, language, and commitments to the transformation goals. In both B2C and B2B environments, customers are incredibly savvy at understanding when there is a disconnect between what a company says and what leaders do. In today’s fast information cycles, corporate narratives are defined by communities, not press releases, making it even more important for leaders to be consistent in their individual actions and behaviors. 

Holding leaders accountable to alignment is a daunting task, especially if it means asking them to delay short term results, compromise individual success, move investments away from current obligations, or develop their own leadership in new ways. Doing the hard work of creating and sustaining alignment during transformation will pay dividends well into the future as leaders learn to identify and hold themselves accountable as they work together to accelerate growth and increase impact.

Karrikins Group’s Senior Consultant Kate Huckabay and Chief Growth Enabler, Julie Williamson, PH.D., host a 30-minute discussion on how to lead in a hybrid work environment and the importance of seizing the moment to re-imagine work.

And, agreement is not alignment. Dr. Julie Williamson on aligned organizations moving toward accelerated growth.

The missing link: It is rare for leaders to be as clear on HOW to lead together as they are on WHAT they do and WHY they do it. We are obsessed with closing that gap.

As leaders get clear on HOW to lead together and to work in alignment with each other, the rest of the organization learns to do the same. The result? Innovation, transformation, growth. Without the need for a crisis.

Read the article: The HOW of Leadership

Use the Diamond Triangle™ Canvas to consider HOW your leadership team works together

Take a 20 minute coffee break with Dr. Julie Williamson, who speaks on how to accelerate growth and amplify impact in 2021 by getting clear on your WHY, WHAT, and HOW:

Even when we are physically distant, emotions, thoughts, and feelings are contagious, and now more than ever we have to be mindful of what we give to others.

Karrikins Group’s Senior Consultant Kate Huckabay and Chief Growth Enabler, Julie Williamson, PhD, host a 30-minute discussion on connecting to how your own energy and anxiety influences those around you, especially when you are in a leadership role. They take a playful perspective on how different attitudes create mental models and impressions that either accelerate teams forward or hold them back.  You’ll leave sparked with some ideas of how to self-scan and get into the right headspace for any interaction with your teams.

People in all industries are challenged right now to learn new ways of working, to revisit past assumptions of what it means to be “at work”, and to balance home and work to a level most have never even imagined. In this C-Suite Leadership Series we talk with leaders and ask them to share their perspectives on leading in times of crisis, especially in a distributed environment.

Fiona Jamison, PhD, CEO of Spring International on distributed work as our new reality

Read the transcript | Watch the full conversation with Dr. Julie Williamson of Karrikins Group:

Adrian Foley, President and COO of Brookfield Properties Development  on engaging people in authentic ways 

Read the transcript | Watch the full conversation with Peter Sheahan of Karrikins Group:

Seth Gordon, CEO of Comm-FIT on keeping your business fit for the future 

Read the transcript | Watch the full conversation with Dr. Julie Williamson of Karrikins Group:

Rex Brooking, Owner/Operator of two Ohio Chick-fil-A locations on taking care of your team

Read the transcript | Watch Rex’s top three pieces of advice for leaders:

Setting and executing on an ambitious strategy that drives transformation is crucial in today’s business environment. Your strategy must be bold enough to shake apart deeply held beliefs, relationships, and organizational habits otherwise it will fail to transform your company.

How ambitious is your organization’s strategy? KG’s Julie Williamson, PhD shares seven questions to ask as you set strategy in 2021 – and – to evaluate how well your strategy delivered last year.

Read the article: Evaluating your strategy: Is it ambitious enough?

Whether as a force for driving improved performance, or a defense against behaviors that erode the public trust, there is a growing acceptance that purpose plays a pivotal role in building sustainable, high-performing organizations.

This paper is designed to support courageous leaders in bringing purpose to life inside their companies. We hope to share some of the knowledge, insights and experience that we have gathered over thirteen years working to help companies align to their purpose. It feels like there’s never been a more critical time to do so. We hope that anyone working in roles where alignment to purpose is relevant finds these perspectives and provocations useful.

Read the white paper: Purpose-Aligned Leadership

Join us for a discussion about the challenge of moving from Agreement to Alignment in the area of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity.

Today’s business environment requires leaders to develop people who are change-able rather than change-reactive.

By being more intentional about using optimism as a lever for change, leaders can drive stronger changeability throughout the organization, and motivate people to respond to disruption, change, opportunity, and crisis with resilience and strength. To amplify Intentional Optimism, the Karrikins Group OPT-IN model™ has five actions you can take to strengthen how you show up as a pragmatic and forward-focused leader.

Read the article: OPT-IN: Building Optimism into Your Leadership

What is your Leadership Disposition? Take the quiz

Watch our webinar on Infectious Leadership and the Intentional Optimism dispositions:

Learn more about applying the Intentional Optimism dispositions in times of challenge or crisis.

Neon sign in strategy X shape

How ambitious is your organization’s strategy? When building yours, there are seven key questions you should ask to understand if it is ambitious enough to drive transformation.

  1. What are the new / different sources of revenue?
  2. What are the new / different cost drivers?
  3. What changes are required in your supply and distribution models?
  4. What are the new capabilities your workforce will need?
  5. What leadership habits and behaviors need to change?
  6. What are the process outcomes that need to change?
  7. Who might leave the organization?

Perhaps the best way to know that yours is ambitious enough is that it seems like it will be hard to accomplish. Use these questions to challenge yourself and your team, plus access more Karrikins Group resources on evaluating your strategy.