Calls for organizational alignment have headlined strategy publications for the last 20 years. A McKinsey 2014 paper, “The Aligned Organization,” summed up the claim that achieving real alignment gave an organization a strategic advantage. “It has a clearer sense of what to do at any given time, and it can trust people to move in the right direction.” Not so fast, caution our lead authors, Amy Kates and Greg Kesler. Speaking from the vantage point of their global organization design practice, they have discovered that organizations have become too complex and the pace of change has accelerated so fast that complete alignment has become unachievable in practical terms.
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