Proven Alignment Optimization

Maximizing Organizational Alignment through Best Practices: An Evidence-Based Approach

Maximizing organizational alignment is a critical aspect of achieving strategic goals and improving overall organizational performance. To achieve this, several best practices have been established that have shown significant positive impacts on organizational alignment. This is a comprehensive look into the best practices for achieving organizational alignment, supported by recent research.

Synchronize goals, strategies, and employee behaviors

By aligning and synchronizing goals, strategies, and employee behaviors, companies can significantly improve their performance and overcome the challenges presented by a rapidly changing business environment. This creates organizational alignment and when it’s achieved it is a source of competitive advantage. 

Organizational alignment starts with your
Mission, Vision and Values

Establishing a clear mission and vision statement is your first step to aligning your organization. These key statements serve as the foundation for organizational alignment by providing guidance on the overall direction and purpose of the organization, they also have the potential to inspire, create urgency and purpose.

Research by Desmidt, Prinzie, & Decramer has shown that companies with clear mission and vision statements exhibit better financial performance and employee engagement. The Corporate Executive Board found that companies that have a strong, shared sense of purpose achieve a 10-year total shareholder return that is five times higher than their peers. This finding also highlights the importance of defining and communicating an organization’s mission and vision to all stakeholders.

Strategy and goals come next

Strategy is about defining your “field of play” – customer, market, geography niche etc.. The articulation of how you propose to win on that field of play is your strategy. How you get to a position where you can articulate your strategy is called a ‘Strategic Planning Process”. This involves a process whereby you create themed clusters of Objectives that need prioritizing and resourcing, and debate the merits of each.

Research has consistently shown that clear strategic objectives are crucial for organizational alignment. Companies that excel at articulating their goals tend to outperform their competitors in various aspects, including revenue growth, profitability, and employee satisfaction.

Bridging the Gap- Strategy Understanding & ExecutionOne study by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) found that only 14% of employees understand their organization’s strategy, while 61% of senior executives agreed that their organization struggled to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and execution. To address this issue, companies should invest in clear communication channels, regularly update employees on strategic goals, and encourage open dialogue about the organization’s direction.

One popular ways to articulate your strategy is using Strategic Pillars with associated OKRs and KPI scorecards. In OKR planning process is designed to help you focus on the goals that will have the greatest impact and give you the accountability and executional focus to then achieve these goals. 

ZOKRI facilitates online workshops where Strategic Pillars are created for use with OKRs and KPI Scorecards. You can learn more by booking a free 30 minute meeting.

Performance management cascades alignment further, top-down and bottom-up

Strategic goals can cascade further using performance management processes, which can also significantly impact organizational alignment. By linking individual goals and objectives to organizational goals, employees can better understand their role in achieving the company’s overall mission. A study by the Corporate Leadership Council found that companies that effectively manage employee performance achieve 40% higher shareholder returns than their peers.

Employees are more likely to be engaged and productive when their personal objectives are in sync with the organization’s goals. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that organizations with high levels of goal alignment experienced 65% better overall performance.

To achieve this, companies should invest in a performance management systems. ZOKRI is obviously a good option as it has the features that make it easy to promote transparency, provide regular feedback, and support the development of individual goals that align with organizational objectives. 

According to research by Lawler III, Benson, & McDermott, performance management systems that incorporate regular feedback, coaching, and recognition contribute to higher employee engagement and organizational alignment,  McKinsey found that companies that prioritize continuous improvement achieve a 10% improvement in productivity within six months.

10% increase in productivity

ZOKRI supports the creation of a top-down and bottom-up organizational alignment model and then operationalizes it with systems and processes that become part of your standard business operations, with alignment and continuous improvement being a few of the many outcomes you will see.


Mission & Vision

We all want to be on a Mission. We all want to know what the Vision is.


The values that ensure your Vision can be achieved.
Reinforced via praise and recognition. Measured via analytics in ZOKRI.

Strategic Intent

Things like Revenue, Growth, Profit.

These are never a Strategy. How you improve these is Strategy.

Strategic Pillar

Pillar 1


Strategic Pillar

Pillar 2


Strategic Pillar

Pillar 3


Strategic Pillar

Pillar 4


















People & Process

Aligning the right people, doing the right jobs, in the right way

ZOKRI platforms and operationalizes all of this, providing the alignment, focus, accountability, systems and processes that get results.

4 Other Factors That Impact Alignment


Agility is essential in today’s dynamic business environment, where organizations must adapt quickly to stay competitive. According to a study by Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe that agility and collaboration are crucial to their organization’s success.

Agility in Business- Essential for competitiveness

To enhance agility, companies should adopt flexible organizational structures that promote cross-functional collaboration and empower employees to make decisions quickly. This may involve flattening hierarchies, creating autonomous teams, and streamlining decision-making processes



Unsurprisingly, strong leadership is critical for creating and maintaining organizational alignment.

In particular, leaders need to set clear expectations and provide guidance and support to ensure that all units work together towards common goals. According to a study by Gallup, organizations with highly engaged leadership teams are 21% more productive and achieve 22% greater profitability.

Strong Leadership- Key to Organizational Alignment

A strategic planning, goal and performance management process and system like ZOKRI makes this easier and you’re able to engage more when you know which areas of the business need the most support.


Effective Communication

A common area of employee frustration is communication. Effective communication is essential for aligning different units within an organization. This includes both formal and informal channels of communication. A study by Towers Watson found that companies with effective communication practices have a 47% higher total return to shareholders compared to those with poor communication practices.

The Power of Effective Communication

Goal role and plan clarity, transparency, accountability and a flow of information on progress, issues, and wins goes a long way to helping people feel part of the whole. This can all be achieved in ZOKRI. Add to this regular company meetings and town-halls, and team check-ins, you can come a long way fast on this.

Employee Empowerment

Empowering employees to make decisions and take ownership of their work has been shown to contribute to organizational alignment. When employees feel empowered, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to the organization’s goals. A study by Grawitch, Gottschalk, and Munz found that employee empowerment is positively correlated with job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and job performance.

Similarities with the 7s Model from McKinsey

The 7S model of organizational alignment is a framework developed by McKinsey & Company in the late 1970s. The model identifies seven factors that are critical for achieving organizational effectiveness and alignment. The seven factors are:

  1. Strategy: The organization’s plan for achieving its goals and objectives.
  2. Structure: The way the organization is organized, including its hierarchy, reporting lines, and communication channels.
  3. Systems: The procedures, processes, and tools used by the organization to execute its strategy.
  4. Shared values: The core beliefs and values that guide the behavior of the organization’s employees.
  5. Skills: The capabilities and competencies of the organization’s employees.
  6. Staff: The organization’s workforce, including its size, diversity, and skills.
  7. Style: The leadership style and culture of the organization, including its management practices and decision-making processes.

According to the 7S model, all seven factors must be aligned and integrated to achieve organizational effectiveness. In other words, changes in one factor can impact the other factors, and a change in any one factor may require adjustments in the others to maintain alignment.

The model above is consistent with the 7s Model, all of which can be platformed in ZOKRI. Using ZOKRI ensures there is less execution risk and a far greater chance of success.

Wrapping up

There is a powerful approach to creating organizational alignment – one that combines the clarity of a vision, the structure of strategic pillars, the focus of OKRs, and the precision of KPI scorecards. This synergy is essential for building organizations that are not only successful but also truly inspiring.

Why is organizational alignment so important? It’s because, at the core of every great organization, there’s a clear sense of purpose – a ‘why.’ This purpose is the foundation upon which we build our vision, strategic pillars, OKRs, and KPI scorecards. Alignment is the glue that holds everything together, ensuring that every member of the organization is moving in the same direction, towards a shared goal.

How do you create this alignment?

First, you start with the vision. The vision is your guiding light, the North Star that helps you chart your course. It’s the embodiment of your purpose, your ‘why.’ A compelling vision is essential for inspiring and motivating the people in your organization.

Next, you have the strategic pillars. These are the key areas of focus that support your vision. They provide structure and guidance, helping you prioritize your efforts and concentrate your resources. By defining clear strategic pillars, you create a framework for decision-making that ensures you are always working towards your vision.

With your vision and strategic pillars in place, you now turn to OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results. OKRs translate our strategic pillars into actionable, measurable steps. They provide the focus you need to execute your strategy effectively. OKRs ensure that everyone in your organization knows their role and how their work contributes to the broader objectives.

Finally, you have KPI scorecards. These are the tools you use to measure your performance against you objectives. KPI scorecards give you the precision you need to track you progress, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions. By regularly reviewing and updating our KPI scorecards, you create a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

What happens when you successfully combine you vision, strategic pillars, OKRs, and KPI scorecards to create organizational alignment?

You build an organization that is focused, agile, and resilient. You create an environment where every individual knows their purpose and understands how their work contributes to the broader vision. You foster a culture of collaboration, where people work together to achieve shared objectives. And you promote a mindset of continuous learning, where we regularly review your performance and make adjustments based on the data.

Creating organizational alignment through a clear vision, strategic pillars, OKRs, and KPI scorecards is essential for building successful and inspiring organizations. By harnessing the power of these tools, you can create a world where everyone knows their purpose and works together towards a shared goal.

ZOKRI platforms and operationalizes all of this, providing the alignment, focus, accountability, systems and processes that get results.