Communication is lacking measurement, data-driven tools, and structure, especially in hybrid/remote work environments

By Ralf Hirt, Founder and CEO, 8W8 Global Business Builders, USA

October 7, 2022

Two recent Harvard Business Review titles were about strategy: ‘Strategies for Turbulent Times – A new way plan for the unknown’ and ‘How good is your Company at Change? You can improve your ability to adapt.’ Strategies have the sole purpose of delivering the company’s mission so everything needs to be cascaded and implemented into the organization starting at the very top. Therefore it is essential that executive management and also boards are aligned as much as possible and are proactive because this is the basis for all internal and external communication and for defining mission-critical priorities, strategies, actions, and goals.

In order to create alignment, companies need data systems to measure the status quo to start with and in order to be empowered to eliminate misalignment and foster alignment to a maximum, ideally, 100% when strategy execution is being kicked off all the way to completion.

Standalone surveys do not do the trick and gut feeling is not professional either. In fact, in hybrid and remote work environments it is a tough task to get it right. For this reason, we introduced the CovQ Factor of Executive Alignment derived from our client’s CovQ Assessment System results and experiences of conducting triple-digit CovQ Assessments worldwide. CovQ stands for the Compound Value Creator Quotient, aka the corporate IQ of a company with respect to value creation qualities, shortcomings, and potentials.

Today, we are sharing the first CovQ Insights Report determining executive team alignment, findings, and key takeaways: The CovQ Insights Report of Executive Alignment (CovQ Factor). The data is based on the value drivers based on CovQ Assessments taken by management teams and calculated based on the participants’ individual CovQ Score results deviation from a company’s average value driver score: CovQ Factor of Executive Alignment.

Key Takeaways

·        A maximum executive team alignment is necessary to ensure mission-critical priorities and strategies are being consistently communicated to ensure successful execution.

·        In order to be empowered to manage and develop alignment, it is essential to measure it in the first place as many CovQ customers discovered great upside potential.

·        Companies need tools that allow them to have structured discussions around alignment and to steadily develop it, be proactive, and evolve.

·        In order to understand trends, shortcomings, and strengths executive team alignment needs to be measured at regular intervals.

·        If executive alignment goes down, it is not a good sign for the company’s future.

·        Strong executive team alignment matters because it creates the spirit and communication clarity that is cascaded throughout the organization, all employees, and stakeholders.

·        In hybrid and remote work environments understanding executive team alignment has become even more challenging, so measurement as the basis for systematic management is most relevant.

·        A high CovQ Factor of Executive Alignment on a specific value driver fosters the urgency in addressing issues even more or enhances the case of doubling down on an opportunity.

·        A low CovQ Factor or Executive Alignment on any value driver requires attention and initiating communication/facilitation.

·        In order to prepare for offsites, strategy, or board meetings CovQ Factor of Executive Alignment assessments have proven to be extremely helpful and create buy-in.

To add some data-driven context on a high level: The CovQ Factor of Executive Alignment of all participating companies came in at 79, and the range was 69 to 89, or in other words, the alignment upside is up to 45 % to get to 100.

It gets even more interesting and relevant when companies are digging into the value drivers the CovQ Assessment System is designed on. This is where companies can address specific alignment issues based on the data, in fact, data that is their own data submitted by their own management team and therefore enjoys full credibility and total buy-in.

All things considered, the time is overdue for management teams and investors to implement communication and strategy systems at the very top level of the organization and not only starting on the functional levels as this traditional approach is lacking cohesiveness. The question ‘are you using a finance and CRM software solution?’ does not exist. The question is only ‘which one are using?’. Moving forward, qualitative data needs to have a top spot on any company’s KPI dashboard because this is the basis for the conventional KPI results tracked and achieved. Bain & Company’s Net Promoter Score®, NPS®, was a great innovation many years ago and is a well-deserved standard. Now it is time to take qualitative data in executive management to the next level and make excellent use of it. In a few years from now, exec teams will no longer not know their corporate IQ and guess their qualities and alignments. The question for today and tomorrow should and will only be ‘which communication and strategy solution do you use?’ and data-driven executive team and business management will be the best practice.   

Additional information can be found on the CovQ Knowledge Center by 8W8 Global Business Builders, NYC.