How to get an organization working as a whole

In the 1991 Gulf War, the U.S. military attempted to “synchronize” all forces–getting them all to work together in order to concentrate forces.  While it may have appeared to be working for the generals at the top, officers further down the ranks were smothered with procedures that reduced effectiveness by slowing down operations and limiting the ability to be opportunistic.

That is very different from aligning an organization where everything, from a clear strategy, functional objectives, and incentives are all focused on the same desired outcomes, but with the parts having the freedom to act and move responsibly and quickly.

Synchronization involves overly complex and convoluted managing of doing things right.  Alignment involves both leadership throughout an organization and an overall mindset of doing the right things.

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