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We are all challenged by a scarcity of resources. We have a limited set of people, process and technology assets to deploy in our organizations. We do not want to waste these resources, so it is critically important to achieve strategic alignment. We discuss this idea a lot in our work, but what does it mean. A good analogy might be that there are several team members in a row boat trying to win a competition. The chances for success are greatly enhanced when everyone is rowing in the same direction and with the same cadence. To make this happen requires leadership and alignment on strategy and goals.

Consider the Harvard Business Review article referenced here (link to article) and ask the following 2 questions:

  1. Using a scale of 1 – 100: How aligned is your strategy with your long-term purpose? and

  2. Using the same 1 – 100 scale: How aligned is your strategy with your organizational capabilities?

Symptoms of poor alignment might include customer service challenges, reactive v. proactive purchasing, greater involvement in tactical v. strategic work and a sub-optimal value contribution to the university. Strategic alignment requires a solid connection between the executive team, procurement leadership and key customers. Spending the right amount of time upfront on these issues will pay big dividends in the future.