The Challenge of Strategic Alignment: Misalignment

8 Nov

Misalignment can occur in a business in many different forms. In this article ‘Strategy Misalignment: The Symptoms, Dangers and Treatment ‘ http://www.methodframeworks.com/article/strategy-misalignment-symptoms-dangers-and-treatment/index.html

it talks about some reasons why misalignment can happen and outlines possible solutions to them.  In this article it covers ‘alignment’ in a much broader sense. In this blog I am going to discuss three possible causes of misalignment and apply them to Strategic Alignment, the alignment of Business and IT Strategies. They are as follows:

The Planning Process:

During the planning process misalignment can occur when a strategy is underdeveloped. If either the business or IT strategy are not planned out properly then IS Strategic Alignment will suffer as a result. Strategy alone isn’t enough but it is how the strategy is implemented throughout the company that counts.

Governance:

If plan governance is not stated clearly in a business, then misalignment has the opportunity to affect a company. If a company ‘instils leadership and worker accountability to plan goals’ it should help to avoid misalignment in defining accountability and also empowering employees. If this can exist in both IT strategies and the business strategy it will help to ensure a more coherent IS Strategic Alignment.

Communication:

As previously discussed by blogger ‘cob12’ https://sopinion8ed.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/strategic-alignment-challenges-communication/

communication is a key factor in strategic alignment. Failure to commit communication clearly can result in strategic misalignment in a company. If communication exists between the IT strategy and business strategy it should help to ensure that misalignment will not be a problem.

It is a lengthy process to re-instil strategic alignment  one which cannot be fixed straightaway but instead involves time, work and discipline. This again highlights the importance of getting strategic alignment in place properly the first time round.

Kodak is an example of a company which suffered from misalignment so much so that in early 2012 it filed for bankruptcy. Kodak resisted change and so saw the misalignment between the IT strategy and business strategy. ‘Kodak management’s inability to see digital photography as a disruptive technology, even as its researchers extended the boundaries of the technology’. The following is link to an article detailing the demise of Kodak http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2012/01/18/how-kodak-failed/3/

In this article it highlights some key mistakes by Kodak which ultimately led to their file of bankruptcy. ‘Kodak management not only presided over the creation technological breakthroughs but was also presented with an accurate market assessment about the risks and opportunities of such capabilities. Yet Kodak failed in making the right strategic choices’. Kodak suffered from strategic misalignment and due to cost, time and discipline they could not manage to re-align their strategies again. This shows how important it is to achieve strategic alignment and to ensure it stays aligned at all times.

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8 Responses to “The Challenge of Strategic Alignment: Misalignment”

  1. ah88rockybay November 9, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    I think you have made a very valid point here and through your use of the Kodak example I now have a better understanding of strategy alignment and what companies should do to avoid it.

    • 04ac November 12, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

      Thanks for you comment ‘ah88rockybay’. I thought Kodak was an interesting company to research as it has been in business for so long, 131 years and it was their own technology they invented, which began to effect the company and how it began to misalign.

  2. cmcoughlan November 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    Hi 04ac, Interesting blog. I read the article “Strategy Misalignment: The Symptoms, Dangers and Treatment” and found it to be hugely beneficial. It seems possible that misalignment can happen just about anywhere in the organisation and can have detrimental consequences as seen with the Kodak example, From reading the blogs on strategic alignment, it seems to me that is one the the biggest issues confronted by many business today.

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