Frequently Asked Questions About Team Alignment

How does a team know it is not in alignment?

Unaligned teams lack a common direction and sense of purpose. They face persistent, recurring negative patterns and dynamics. Additionally, unaligned teammates demonstrate poor communication and limited empathy. Energy is wasted on internal bickering between members.

The best indicator that a team is not aligned is found a company’s lack of progress toward its goals. Sooner or later non-alignment shows up in the numbers.

Top Team Alignment is possible when individual members share a common vision, values, and priorities.

Alignment occurs because the team understands how various relationships among members can be leveraged. When a team is aligned, the style and preferences of individual members are understood and valued by all.

Return To Top

What types of situations benefit from the Top Team Alignment process?

Alignment is extremely useful for addressing poor relationships, communication and decision-making patterns within existing teams. Unhealthy conflict among group members can be resolved by Team Alignment.

Team Alignment is invaluable when a leader embarks upon a new direction, strategy or cause.

In cases where there is new leadership, or where a significant number of team members are new (during a merger or consolidation, for instance) Team Alignment will accelerate integration.

Return To Top

The CEO of my team has excellent facilitation skills. Why bring in someone from outside?

A simple response is – if the team could solve their own problems, there wouldn’ t be any problems.

If a system breakdown exists or a new initiative or strategy is slow to launch and the solution could be accessed from within the group, it would have happened by now.

An outside facilitator brings a new perspective, which can help the team see issues from a different point of view.

In addition, I can discuss sensitive issues in non-threatening ways that lead to greater awareness among the team members.

Having an outside facilitator also takes the pressure off the team leader — he or she does not have to worry about logistics, performing or eliciting politically-correct responses due to existing relationships.

Return To Top

How does the Top Team Alignment process work? And what are the outcomes besides getting the team aligned?

The process begins when the company CEO and other key leaders meet with me and my associates to determine your objectives.

I always maintain focus on your core business issue and basic goal for the team. These become the central topic of the alignment process.

Prior to any team meetings, my staff and I will conduct diagnostic interviews and/or administer profiling to define the issues clearly. We strive to get a deeper understanding of the leadership styles of participants and the team dynamics.

The loosely-structured team session format is designed to fit your circumstances (and may often be changed on the fly). I use tested processes and guided activities to highlight team interfaces that may be getting in the way of development.

At the end of the process, concrete solutions are identified to address problems. Equally important, there is individual and team awareness of problem-solving styles, conflict resolution styles and relationship issues unique to the team.

Return To Top

Off-sites are expensive. We simply do not have the time to pull the whole team off the tasks at hand. How do we justify a 2-day off-site session?

If the top management team of an organization cannot delegate its duties to others for two days, then one could conclude that a breakdown exists right now, one that needs to be addressed quickly. If the top team is chained to the office, all the more reason to have an off-site conference to see how ‘strategic’ leaders use their time.

Most teams report that after a Top Team Alignment process, they operate far more efficiently and quickly overcome long-standing obstacles. Teams are more innovative in an off-site setting than when meeting for short periods in their offices. Isn’t missing a few emails worth the value of aligning your team?

Return To Top

What makes you so effective at this work?

My 12 years as a CEO in high-growth and transitioning companies combines with specific training and experience working with groups to give me unique insight in this field.

I have led hundreds of team processes. As a result, I have gained the experience needed to address core issues which may be blocking a team from operating at their highest level.

I am unafraid to see the “elephant” in the room; the huge central problem that most people are hesitant to consider.

I understand that measurable results are the top priority. With this perspective I can help a team discover what is working and what is not working, in terms of relationships and communication. Top Team Alignment exercises are designed to illuminate blind spots.

Return To Top

How much does it cost to implement the Team Alignment process?

Fees vary depending on the size of the company, number of facilitators, the amount of time spent on diagnostic interviewing, and the time involved in off-site meetings. The programs generally range from $7,500 to $25,000.

Return To Top

What happens after the Team Alignment process?

Part of the alignment process involves finding methods for integrating new initiatives with the rest of the organization. Strategic communications and follow-up meetings among top team members and their respective workgroups build consensus.

To measure progress and review implementation, companies often schedule a follow-up meeting 3 to 4 months after the Top Team Alignment meetings.

In some cases, one-on-one coaching for individuals or for the entire team becomes necessary to integrate changes or deal with issues in greater depth.

Return To Top