3 Steps to Team Alignment

How often have you worked with a team that isn’t on the same page? This familiar work situation of being misaligned is not the team’s fault, but the leader/manager’s responsibility.

What Elements are required for Team Alignment?

1. Purpose

2. Culture

3. Values

When any of these three elements are out of alignment, the result is a loss of efficiency, loss of productivity, loss of motivation, and an unacceptable work product. Team alignment is a critical success factor found in high performing teams. If you see your team is out of alignment, your “job one” is to realign.

Steps to Contextual Alignment

1. Diagnosis – before starting any corrective action, you’ve got to understand what is broken and where. Look at the team holistically and then in parts.

  • Is there evidence where a person or process is not aligned? Be careful; it is easy to blame a process problem on a person. These two elements must be looked at in the context of each other.
  • Is there evidence that team members, together or individually, don’t have a clear understanding of the purpose and value of their work?
  • Are the entire team and each member of the group living by the same cultural norms? The needed norms are often an alignment of work ethic and behavior.
  • Do each and all members approach their work with similar energy, effort, commitment, and passion?
  • Do the team members approach the task with the same values relative to quality, effort, and pride?

2. Prescribe – once you know what/where/who needs “fixed,” develop a communication and training plan to build on the team strengths while correcting the deficiencies. This step is very purposeful work, with part of the result being an understanding of processes that need “fixed” or aligned. It needs to be trained or, sometimes, redirected to another opportunity.

3. Correct – meet with the team collectively and individually to communicate why team realignment is needed, where the misalignment is, how the team will work to get aligned. The effort to correct includes sharing what the work looks like, who will do this work, what the end looks like, how success will be measured, how the team and individuals will be held accountable and how the team, work product, organization, customer and individual benefit from attaining this alignment.

An aligned team performs expertly and creates significant pride in themselves, their work product, and the organization. Team alignment is vital leadership work.

About rich@leading2leadership.com

Rich Jones is the Founder/Principal of Leading2Leadership LLC. Before starting his strategic planning agency, he spent over 20 years in leadership roles in the financial services sector. Before becoming an executive in the financial services sector, Rich was an entrepreneur, building and selling two businesses and working for early-stage start-up companies in executive roles in marketing, business development, and seeking investment partners. With more than three decades of experience, he brings innovative thought to companies and executives. Rich published “Leading2Leadership, a Situational Primer to Leadership Excellence.” The book is available on Amazon.com and was designed to be used as a book study for leadership development programs; it breaks leadership skills into manageable situations for discussion and reflection. Rich works with credit unions, CUSOs, and vendors, designing digital, data, culture, marketing, and branding transformation strategies. In 2014, Chosen as a Credit Union Rock Star by CU Magazine, and in 2018, Rich received the Lifetime Achievement Award from CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council. A Marine and graduate of Colorado State University, Jones shares his expertise at www.leading2leadership.com.


  1. pranati1 on June 12, 2014 at 5:47 am

    Reblogged this on Piloting My Life.

  2. Clement on July 25, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Hi there, just anted to say, I liked this post. It was funny.
    Keep on posting!

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