In order to form a more perfect..." Alignment?

Feb 25, 2011

Girls in Kayak

Are We Aligned Yet?

In our conversations, workforce leaders repeatedly cited the challenge (and necessity) of alignment. The idea is this: when leaders seek to do big things, like help their key industries transition to the new economy, raise the level of educational attainment in their communities or end poverty, they need to work together. No one leader, organization, agencies, or even sector can tackle these issues alone. But working together means more than just communicationg, coordinating, or meeting. It means:

  • Establishing and working toward a shared set of measurable goals that are tied to a shared strategy based on shared assumptions about the causes of the current state and what would best improve it (whether the work occurs collaboratively is secondary);
  • Using incentive that reward progress appropriately (at multiple levels);
  • Investing time, resources, and expertise in ways that are widely perceived to be "fair", equitable, and in the public interest; and
  • Building trust beyond single individuals (most often leaders) of collaborating organizations to support lasting partnerships and strengthen social networks.


"Diverse partners add the resources and expertise we do not have and the reverse is also true. You need partnerships to take on the hard issues. Knowing how to leverage them is an imporant aspect of leadership." – Christine, WIB Director

"The most effective WIBs are those that function as good convenors. They bring people together to manage both immediate challenges and longer term needs in a coherent way." – Mark, County Commissioner