You will find our services both flexible and affordable. Contact Align today for a free consultation.
Toll Free : 877.322.5446
(877 - 32ALIGN)
Fax : 307.778.3943
The Align Team will work side-by-side with you to help you produce measurable results.» Read More
Align’s strategic planning services will help your organization build and use a strategy that will move you into the future.» Read More
Human capital, the employees and volunteers, is the most important indicator of an organization’s success.» Read More
Align has a proven track record of assessing organizational needs and then building customized training in response.» Read More
Align helps communities and organizations come together to find common ground and accomplish the goal.» Read More
Interestingly enough, there’s a bit of controversy these days on whether an organization needs both a vision statement and a mission statement.
A mission statement describes the organization’s purpose and is the foundation for how the organization operates and plans for the future.
A vision statement expresses what the organization aspires to achieve – that is, what you see the organization having accomplished in the long haul.
Current schools of thought are that both remain important and necessary; or that they can be redundant, as well as time-consuming to develop and so it’s a waste of time to create a vision statement. It does indeed take time to ensure board and staff members clearly understand the differences between the two statements. And it certainly can take a great deal of time to do the wordsmithing that satisfies all the stakeholders – board and staff – that the correct words have been used in the correct order.
» Read More
Hopefully it comes as no surprise to you that the US Department of Labor is in the midst of changing one of the ‘tests’ for exempt status eligibility. That is, in order to be exempt from overtime (time and a half) pay, employees have to meet certain “requirements” or “tests.” One of these is that they must earn at least $23,660. Under the proposed rule that is working its way through the lawmaking system, that amount jumps to $50,440.
Align has weighed in as an HR consulting firm, as a nonprofit business, and on behalf of all our nonprofit, social services providing clients and friends. We said what most employers are saying: This is going to be a budget buster that causes us all to rethink how we do business.
» Read More
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is a 20th Century maxim that doesn’t translate well to the 21st Century and the fast-moving, world economy. Today, leaders recognize their organizations must constantly be ready to seize opportunities that didn’t exist, even in the recent past.
When it’s time to shake up an organization to make sure it’s performing at its very best, where do we start? Well, two recent examples in our hometown provide some food for thought on how and when to really shake things up.
» Read More
Click here to listen
Bottom line: the current leaders of successful organizations know a lot and we owe them a lot. They’ve grown the business and achieved significant goals. Yet the world of knowledge keeps growing … and your successors deserve a chance to learn from others, even though they’ll likely keep learning from your even after you retire. If you’re a business leader or hope to be, then succession planning is on your mind. Who will run the business when the current ‘big boss’ retires? Who can do it as well as he does? Who will your clients accept as the next leader or leaders for your business?
» Read More
You’ve read, heard or watched thousands of opinions about leadership and management. Unapologetically, Align is devoting three Angles to covering these qualities, but with some simpler observations than you may have experienced in the past. The first in the series was about leadership; our most recent past edition (two weeks ago) focused on managing; and this third installment highlights the interdependence of the two.
They are not the same. The key difference is that leadership is inherently a sociological manifestation and management is a scientific method. Leading can’t occur unless there are those to lead. Managing, however, can occur in the laboratory, using the same principles one would in an industrial setting, e.g. planning, controlling, directing, and budgeting.
» Read More
You’ve read, heard or watched thousands of opinions about leadership and management. Unapologetically, Align’s next three Angles will cover these qualities, but with some simpler observations than you may have experienced in the past.
Like virtually every habit or mannerism we acquire during our lives, our individual leadership characteristics began as we selectively modeled certain behaviors and rejected others. Over time, we adapted the ones we selected—“tried on”—to fit our preferred styles, demographics and situations so that they became our own behaviors.
Next came repetitive behaviors. As we found out we could be successful, we repeated certain behaviors. Not identically every time, of course. We adapted the foundation of our leadership behaviors to fit the situation.
» Read More
You’ve read, heard or watched thousands of opinions about leadership and management. Unapologetically, Align is devoting three Angles to covering these qualities, but with some simpler observations than you may have experienced in the past. Our last edition was about leadership; this one focuses on managing; and the third will highlight the interdependence of the two. Today’s podcast is a conversation among the Align leaders that discusses all three articles.
Management is simple in concept; not always simple in practice.
Management is the rational application of resources, processes and measurements to achieve desired results. Effective management has one over-arching prerequisite: SMART goals (Specific Measurable Achievable, Relevant and Time-based.
Setting goals in today’s organizational world demands collaboration unlike at any other time in the history of industrialization; collaboration throughout the organization; not just within the management team. Over the past decade, most American employers have modeled after the United States armed forces, which are among the first to recognize the added power of collaboration from front lines to staff headquarters in accomplishing objectives. Ultimately, of course, the responsibility for execution and the accountability for results rests with organizational leadership.
The setting of goals requires a no-nonsense assessment of the organization’s available resources—people, capital, time, equipment and space. Within the constraints of current and near-term resources, each area then organizes the work to achieve maximum results with minimum resources—this is called productivity. And it is measurable, e.g. the number of seconds it takes to fulfill a drive-through order or the time and material necessary to erect a skyscraper. Management is all about goals, results and measurements. Resources are the means to achieve organizational goals. It’s the manager’s job to see that the fewest resources yield the greatest results.
Now, how that is done is a matter of choice, which is what we will present in the third article in this Angle series.
We’re hard pressed to think of an organization that isn’t organized to be run by a team of people. If you’re a sole proprietor, we guess you’re exempt from reading this article – otherwise, here’s some food for thought.
The organization chart tells all team members – leaders and non-leaders – who is responsible for what pieces of the organization; and who reports to whom. It’s an important visual representation of your business model.
But the org chart isn’t the reality. For a team to be effective in leading an organization, all members of the team must work together like a well-oiled machine. This doesn’t happen magically with the passage of time. Like most elements of a great organization, it has to be intentional, which means it has to be pursued as carefully and thoughtfully as you pursue a positive bottom line.
Of course you hold regular meetings – weekly or every other week or at least monthly. But even a weekly business meeting won’t accomplish the camaraderie required to lift a company higher in all ways. Here are some additional ways to build a strong team.
» Read More
Shannon from Casper asks: How important is coaching/mentoring and why?
Rich question, Shannon. We’re not sure if you’re asking how important it is to seek out a mentor or how important it is to use coaching/mentoring behaviors when working with others. So we’ll try to answer both questions.
First we want to make sure we’re speaking the same language, so here are “definitions” of coaching and mentoring.
While we started using “coaching” and “mentoring” more or less interchangeably, it’s helpful and important to distinguish the two terms.
Coaching refers to a continuous process of developing employees so they can be successful in their job. In the coaching function, managers/supervisors access the employee’s current skill level and facilitate the learning and development process so that the employee has the tools and knowledge they need to fulfill their job responsibilities. There is ongoing communication between the employee and supervisor to help identify any barriers, as well as celebrate successes. Coaching often goes beyond just technical aspects of the job to include soft skills development such as communication and teamwork. Human capital is the most important asset to any company. For that reason, coaching should be part of any managers/supervisors job.
Mentoring goes beyond coaching. As a mentor, you share your experience and knowledge with the mentee (not necessarily a direct report or even someone in your company) to help them grow professionally, sometimes to the next level or job. A good mentor is a positive role model and good listener and knows the right questions to ask. They aren’t directing the person or telling them what they should do, but developing a relationship with this person to help them reach their full potential. แผนที่ทางหลวง A mentor can also help the mentee make connections in a community and be their best cheerleader.
In our current work environments, it’s imperative you acknowledge that a coaching mentality on your part as a leader is imperative in drawing out the best in folks. Reread the Angle article from two weeks ago and set up your coaching relationship so that you are sure your coaching methods will yield the desired results for the company and the employee.