No Cracks in Our Teamness: The Importance of Alignment in Decision Making

As an EOS implementer, a common challenge I see in leadership teams is the lack of alignment in decision-making. Even when a decision is made, there can be differing opinions on whether or not that was the right solution. Of course it’s important that relevant, differing opinions are heard, but the key is to speak from experience, not hypothetical. Part of what makes a great leadership team is the ability to share your lens of the business related to the topic at hand. However, when someone on the leadership team says they are aligned, but then they tell others on the team they don’t agree, saying things like; “That was what ‘they’ decided, but I have a different opinion,” this can create cracks in the teamness.

Why Alignment So Important

One of the healthy rules of EOS sessions is “No Sidebars” – not only with each other but with yourselves. If one person on the team has another solution for how we can solve the issue, it’s important they don’t keep that to themselves. Your solution might not be picked, but at least you were heard and your solution was able to be considered! We can’t rule by consensus. Businesses are not democracies. For each issue, there will be one person on the leadership team who’s responsible for owning that issue. Their job is to listen to the various lenses, and ultimately it’s up to them to make the final call. Even if your solution or idea wasn’t picked, the team should trust each other to do what’s best for the company. From there we go with the discipline of ‘disagree, but commit’. It’s critical for leadership to be consistent when it comes to issue resolution. Without this, you negatively impact your team’s health and put your business at risk.

Alignment is especially critical when facing difficult situations or making tough decisions. If different people on the leadership team give different answers, it sends mixed messages to the rest of the organization, causing confusion and uncertainty. For example, think about a child going to their parents for advice on a problem. If mom and dad give different answers, it can create confusion and frustration for the child. Similarly, if the leadership team is not aligned on a decision, it can create a sense of unease and lack of confidence within the business. While you may think you’re bonding with them by telling them you disagree with the leadership team, in reality it often just creates more confusion and frustration for your team.

Use EOS to Get Your Team Aligned

So how can you ensure alignment in decision-making? Here are some tips:

IDS – The leadership team needs to identify, discuss, and solve issues within the business, done during the weekly L10s. The team is encouraged to have a frank and open discussion to ensure everyone is on the same page and has the same understanding of the situation and the solution.

Stick to the Plan – Once a decision is made, it’s important to stick to the plan and present a unified front to the rest of the organization. Whether the solution is a new process or letting an employee go, being in agreement on it will ensure a strong business and team.

Communicate Clearly & FBA – Clear communication is key to maintaining alignment. Make sure everyone on the leadership team understands the decision and their role in executing it. This will help ensure everyone is working towards the same goal.

Gain Traction by Getting on the Same Page

At the end of the day, alignment is about creating a sense of teamness and building trust within the organization. By building a culture where your employees can have their voice heard, allow for those accountable for their area to own the decisions for their seat, and have the rest of the team stand behind that leader’s decisions, you can ensure there are no cracks in your teamness and grow your business on a strong, solid foundation.

Want to see how EOS can help your team achieve alignment? Contact me for your free 90-minute meeting to learn more!

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