"Supply chain management is a strategic challenge demanding top level management attention."
Top management sets the goals of the organization for next year and for some years in the future based on objectives. These goals have to be communicated to all the employees and channel partners of the organization. They have to appreciate the goals as smart goals - achievable with adequate stretch. Then only they work towards goal achievement with motivation. In practice, goal alignment is a difficult process. The communication has to reach every one. The reaction of the various employees is to be found out and negative reactions have to be specifically identified.
The negative reactions are the objections that are anticipated in a selling process. In the context of goal alignment, management is selling ideas. Idea marketing is identified as an important marketing area by Philip Kotler. Hence selling ideas is a respectable activity and management has to get involved in it. The objections have to be categorized and a communication which answers some of these significant negative feelings can be prepared say under a title like "Frequently asked questions on the goals of the organization." Such a communication can be circulated and it can be used as an opportunity for promoting the goals of the organization once again. Also, whenever the company is able to move forward successfully in respect of intermediate goals, a communication can be given stating that the company is able to navigate the turbulent economic environment successfully to achieve its intermediate goal. This is to reinforce the fact that the top management is aware of the risk factors to goal achievement. Some of these risk factors may have been voiced as objections by the employees. Hence, whenever, a risk factor is successfully managed, an opportunity of communication about the goals and the plan to achieve them arises.
Some Excerpts from Various Papers and Articles on Goal Alignment
The strategy has to answer two important questions and the answers must have alignment.
1) What are the needs, wants and buying preferences of your customers? and,
2) What are you planning to produce to offer a product that satisfies the customer evaluation to the maximum extent in comparison to the offers made by the competing sellers?
If these two factors are aligned and promise good customer response in terms of sales and production, strategy communication and implementation will have a viable foundation.
Strategic Supply Chain Alignment: Best Practice in Supply Chain ManagementJohn Gattorna
Gower Publishing, Ltd., 1998 - Business & Economics - 671 pages
Supply chain performance will be a key indicator of overall corporate success into the next century. . Based on the recently developed strategic alignment model, the bookt shows how external market dynamics, the companyâe(tm)s strategic response, and internal capability must be aligned if competitive advantage is to be achieved. Supply chain management is a strategic challenge demanding top level management attention. This book tackles the subject at that strategic level to help companies reposition their supply chains successfully. The book then offers the vital link between strategy setting and implementation, providing comprehensive coverage of the main areas of execution, and making it an essential compendium on all aspects of the subject.
The case studies from major organizations from around the world, are must read for anyone wishing to be at the forefront of international supply chain management thinking. This collection of previously unpublished material offers the reader a unique opportunity to identify the hot issues, discover emerging strategies and uncover key industry and market perspectives.
Divided into five sections which reflect the important components of the strategic alignment model, the book covers: The market: Customer value creation and segmentation, and the rationale behind the integration of supply with demand. Strategic response: Considers channel strategy, supply chain configuration and operations and distribution management. and Culture: Adopting organization options which focus on delivering the required response, the management of change and how it should be integrated with the process of strategy formulation.
Leadership: The role of leadership and the style necessary to ensure alignment with the characteristics of the market and the strategic response the organization plans to take.
High-achieving organizations are better than others at turning their visions into viable strategies that guide operational planning.
The strongest organizations are those that nurture their employees’ inner work lives by allowing them to make progress in meaningful work.
Typically, the individual level is where the vision breaks down and gives rise to misalignment. Employees see the gap between the aspirational language of the leaders and the work they are asked to do daily and may become cynical rather than motivated.
But some organizations make all of the links, so that vision, strategy, goals and operations plan come together in the design of meaningful job. They instill a sense of achievement in the person when he completes the job assigned to him during strategic plan period and that enables their people to achieve more and more.
From: The Aligned Organization, Article by Thierry Nautin, in The Lean Management Enterprise: A System for Daily Progress, Meaningful Purpose and Lasting Value.
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