Are people executing the strategy? Calculate your Strategic Alignment Score

We can have the best strategy in the world. It will however remain fiction until line managers and frontline employees start working on it.

So knowing whether people are actively carrying out relevant activities is critical. It allows leaders to intervene where roadblocks exist and make corrective adjustments before problems impact the bottom line.

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Lack of strategic alignment is fatal: GoPro’s experience

When leaders at the same organization don’t share the same goals, when they fail to collaborate, it’s a clear sign of failed strategy. Here’s what CJ Prober, COO at GoPro had to say about the mess he inherited (reporting by Bloomberg):

Prober, who in early in his career worked as a management consultant at McKinsey, partly blames a siloed organization for the unforced errors. He says teams were isolated from one other and focused on a specific agenda rather than working together. Ultimately, he says, the company’s ambitious product pipeline overwhelmed a management team with too many layers and sign-offs.

Prober vows to avoid future mishaps with a smaller, flatter organization. Late last year, the company shuttered its entertainment unit and eliminated 15 percent of its employees, a third of whom were vice presidents or higher. “A lot of times when you reduce complexity in a business, it helps you make the jobs of teams better,” Prober says. “It’s less stuff to worry about, more clarity.” His mantra for 2017: “Do more with less.”

Are your teams strategically aligned?

Perhaps it’s time to ask some tough questions:

  • What are the company’s objectives and what are my team’s objectives? Are they coherent?
  • What activities don’t contribute to the company goals? How are they not distractions?
  • Who is working in the shadow, silently driving their individual agenda?

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Trump’s First 50 Days: Will his Secretaries implement his policies?

Much of the President’s agenda needs to be implemented with support from the 15 executive departments.

From building a border wall to boosting shale gas production, support from Secretaries such as John Kelly (DHS) and Rick Perry (Energy) is crucial.

So how strategically aligned are the Secretaries with the President?

To find out, we analyzed the actions and statements of each cabinet level Secretary and their department. We then compared them to Trump’s stance on these issues to calculate each department’s Trump Alignment Score (+100% = in full agreement with Trump).


  • 5 secretaries disagree with President Trump on at least one topic;
  • 9 departments face conflicting policy positions from President Trump on at least one issue, such as whether he truly wants a border tax;
  • 4 departments earned top marks of +100%, including DeVos, Carson, Zinke, and the leaderless USDA.
  • Tillerson (State), Kelly (DHS) and Sessions (Justice) all oppose a muslim registry, while supporting extreme vetting and the travel ban;
  • Ross (Commerce) and Perry (Energy) both voiced support for scientific research in their departments, but will be implementing major budget reductions to scientific programs;
  • When prompted, all secretaries acknowledged climate change is real
  • The USDA and DOL are still missing secretaries as of March 10th. They are not disrupting President Trump’s agenda in the meantime.

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