One of the most common root causes of a strategic initiative stalling out is the lack of senior leadership alignment. Maybe senior leaders say they support the initiative but they don’t really walk their talk. Or they prioritize the initiative at the bottom of their list. Or worse yet, they actually take a position in opposition to your initiative. Of the five domains of leading and implementing a successful strategic initiative – Strategy, Leadership, Execution, Change Management, and Culture – senior leadership alignment is often one of the most frequently cited reasons for initiatives not meeting their original objectives.
But to objectively assess leadership alignment and diagnose any underlying issues so they can be addressed, leaders of major strategic initiatives need a tool to measure it. So, here’s one that works… not perfect, but it works. It’s especially effective when done by an objective third party who can have confidential conversations with stakeholders. Don’t use this form verbatim. Adapt it to your situation.
Interview each major stakeholder and rate their response to each of the ten questions listed. Explore any rating less than a 3 with follow up questions to get at the deeper issues. After all interviews have been compiled and all scores totaled, initiative leaders will have a much clearer picture of the ‘who’ and the ‘what’ required to improve leadership alignment.
Let me know your approach to assessing senior leader alignment.