How to Create a Pattern of Alignment
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. — Henry David Thoreau
What pace are you setting for your team? Is your team following or are they walking to the beat of a different drummer?
Here is what I know, all organizations have a rhythm. Your team will follow it to the extent that they know it and agree with it. If the rhythm is unknown then they will look elsewhere and find a rhythm.
If you want to align your team, here are four habits that can help you establish a pattern for your organization.
Create a sequence of flow
Cadence is what you usually consider when talking about rhythm. It’s the rhythmic sequence of flow and activity. It’s the recurring patterns and routines that your organization takes part in.
Intentional or not, you have a cadence.
If you have company extended holidays, that’s cadence. Every year, you repeat the same habit of time off.
Your employees plan around those days off too. They make arrangements to take care of personal things around the house or to take a much-needed vacation.
As a business, you need a cadence of business activities too. Activities that you and your team rely on and plan around.
Plant a flag in the direction you intend to go
This is your strategic intent. What are you planning to go after as a business? It’s an aspect of cadence but one that needs its only place in the hierarchy of rhythms.
Without direction, your cadence is lost. It’s meaningless. Sure you get together and talk about work, but what purpose is it serving?
A directional cadence will help you to drive your operational cadence and everything in-between.
Plan and plan again
It goes without saying, but if you fail to plan, then you can plan to fail. Similar to the directional cadence, you need a planning cadence.
It’s also a pillar routine. Without proper planning under the umbrella of direction, you will find that chasing the wind or the flavor of the day will be in order.
Set a regular planning cadence for your team. The cadence may not be fixed, but rather a plan when ready cadence. So, it’s routine when you need it.
Let them see it
The fourth habit of rhythm is visibility. This is about communication. What your team doesn’t know they can’t prepare for. Just like those vacation days, if you make things visible you can expect your team to align around it.
All organizations have a cadence. Your team will follow it to the extent that they know it and agree with it. If the rhythm is unknown then they will look elsewhere and find a rhythm.