HBR – Uniting the Senior Team

This Harvard Business Review article discusses the misalignment that had set forth in the company Swisscom in 2016. Once a market leader, they were stuck between status quo and need for growth. Their leaders couldn’t agree on the proper path.

Swisscom leaders were brought together to develop a plan forward and to have alignment with that plan amongst the leadership. This is a great first step towards moving the company forward.

Looking at Swisscom’s 2017 annual report and 2018 quarterly statements, however, shows that revenue and profit have remained unchanged. It appears the market is difficult, and it takes time for strategic initiatives to take hold. However, it’s one thing to have leadership alignment and it’s a completely another thing to have that alignment cascade down the organization.

Substantive, sustainable alignment and change can’t just happen at the top. Those leaders need to drive alignment down to their leaders, who cascade that down through an organization. The article talks about cultural realities within Swisscom that I’d imagine didn’t change and sputtered a lot of the great ideas that came from the leadership work.

Developing the plan is the easy part. Aligning an organization to that plan, the reasons behind it and the standards of behavior and performance that are needed is where the real work of leaders comes forth.