Ever launched a new initiative only to see it falter a few weeks (or days) later? There’s something to be said for the simple understanding that nothing really changes without clear, very purposeful alignment between intentions and actions.
I just picked up a copy of Success Built to Last: Creating a Life that Matters by Jerry Porras, Stewart Emery, and Mark Thompson. It’s built on the idea that (similar to the Hedgehog Concept) there are three essential elements to finding lasting success. They are meaning (that what you do really matters), thought-style (a highly developed sense of accountability, audacity, passion and responsible optimism), and action-style (effective ways to take action). So far, it’s an interesting premise and seems to have potential.
The key is that these three essential elements, like the hedgehog idea, must fit together. In fact, when they fit together well, with good alignment, they form "the foundation on which you build and sustain the experience of success (p. 26)."
But here’s the key: the only way to keep them aligned is to be intentional. Without intention, they drift apart. Only with continuous effort, very purposeful action, will they remain in alignment. It won’t happen naturally. As Peter Drucker said, "The only things that evolve by themselves (in an organization) are disorder, friction, and malperformance."
Interesting, don’t you think? How purposeful are you being in maintaining alignment?