Everyone is talking about strategic alignment… but alignment to what?
In my experience, people are a little lazy in throwing around a term like ‘strategic alignment’. I think we need to see strategic alignment in our community portfolios in a couple of ways:
Mission alignment: making sure our efforts in the community directly connect to the vision, mission and purpose of the core business.
Thematic alignment: making sure our community investments line up to the space in which the business operates. (EG. Banks getting involved in financial literacy; it ‘makes sense’ to the community)
Segment alignment: making sure our core community investments are related to, or work with, the segments more relevant to our business strategy (eg. If we have a youth-focused customer strategy, making sure our core community investments logically relate to this)
Operational alignment: making sure our community investments fit with, make sense to, and are leveragable by the core operations teams inside the business – sales, marketing, ops etc.
There is huge value is seeing ‘strategic alignment’ more broadly than we currently do, especially if we’re serious about making sure companies get more value out of what they do.