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True Alignment: Linking Company Culture with Customer Needs for Extraordinary Results [Kindle Edition]

Edgar Papke
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Alignment is the single most critical business challenge for any organization and its leaders. Without it, inefficiency, conflict, and disengagement will cripple your ability to provide value to your customers.

Companies live or die based on their ability to communicate and deliver on the promise their brand makes to its customers. To do this effectively, leaders need to clearly define the vision and strategies that support that brand intention and ensure these are manifested in the roles, expectations, and goals of each and every member of the organization. A blueprint for businesses of all types and sizes, True Alignment reveals how to:

• Decipher customer expectations
• Define the brand as a solution to the customer’s needs
• Turn the unique selling proposition into the mission
• Create a company culture where everyone is aligned to this vision—and responsible for living the brand promise
• And more

Whether you’re a manager, a business owner, an executive, or CEO, True Alignment is an essential resource that will help you compete and succeed in today’s complex and rapidly changing business environment.


Product Description

From the Back Cover

Chances are you’re all too familiar with the consequences of misalignment in your organization: Inefficiency. Dysfunctional conflict. Disengagement. A lack of focus on your business’s key goals, resulting in poor performance and fuzzy accountability. Without a shared and consistent approach to serving your customers, you run the risk of hurting your brand’s reputation, and losing the trust and loyalty of those you intend to serve.

In short, if everyone in your company isn’t working together toward the same outcome, you’re not only failing as a leader . . . your company is most likely in grave danger.

Presenting a comprehensive lens through which to view the patterns of behavior by which your company culture can be intentionally led, True Alignment reveals a systematic blueprint for aligning internal behavior: how the people inside your organization engage with each other—to external behavior: how they engage your customers. Step by step, this book shows you how to:

• Develop a clearly articulated and understood vision of what your organization wants to accomplish so that your people know what the desired outcomes are.

• Enable your employees to innovate and continuously create and deliver products or services that reflect and align with your customers’ expectations.

• Encourage emotional engagement by ensuring that your people know why what they’re doing matters and the benefit it brings; that they believe in what is being created and care deeply about it; and have a shared sense of purpose and feel responsible for their contribution to making it happen.

• Ensure that your people are aligned on how to work together to achieve results, with clear steps and procedures in place enabling them to act in alignment with the values and beliefs of your organization culture.

The ultimate mark you make as a leader is in how truly aligned your company is. When you leverage alignment across your team and organization, you create an environment in which your people communicate at broader and deeper levels; increase the opportunity for the exchange of ideas; and take critical thinking and problem solving to higher levels, all resulting in increased innovation, creativity, and better performance. Filled with practical guidance, this is an essential resource for revitalizing your entire organization.

About the Author

EDGAR PAPKE is an award-winning speaker, author, facilitator, and executive coach. He has received worldwide recognition for The Business Code™, providing a unique approach to organizational alignment, change, and performance.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1487 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM; 1 edition (11 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E1SSIVK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #395,330 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
If it were possible to retain Albert Einstein as a consultant to help members of an organization's senior management team to determine its purpose, strategy, and core business, he would probably recommend that everything be made as simple as possible but no simpler, adding "If you cannot explain each of them to a six year-old, you probably don't understand it." I agree him as well as with Edgar Papke that proper alignment is the key to business success. Determining an organization's purpose, strategy, and core business is "the most important conversation" for a business and its stakeholders. "Alignment is the ongoing conversation that leads to success. [begin italics] Alignment is the conversation. [end italics]"

In this book, Papke offers a measurable and observable approach to achieving and then sustaining alignment of customer needs with an organization's leadership, culture, and brand intention. This is indeed a major challenge to business leaders. Papke agrees, suggesting, "To confront this challenge, leaders need a systemic framework for understanding, assessing, and creating alignment. They and their teams and organizations require an approach that cuts through the complexity and eliminates the noise from multiple priorities, numerous initiatives, and the confusion of choices and options; an approach that provides a clear and simple roadmap to success."

I agree with all that except with the word "simple." If it really were simple, there would be no need for this book, or for any of the other 3,623 books on business alignment that Amazon now offers for sale.

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Papke's coverage.
Read more ›
Comment | 
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Format:Hardcover
Edgar Papke has an amazing ability to simplify the complex. He is one of the few people I know that can actually explain how to manage corporate culture and it's powerful influence on an organizations innovation capabilities. I appreciate how Papke tells a story that integrates a focus on the customer with a focus on business needs, and then shows how alignment and corporate culture can either generate success, or in fact make success more difficult. I particularly liked the sections on Decoding Culture and Aligning Culture. This book makes me wonder if actually the biggest challenge for many companies is the company itself.

It seems like everyone claims to have their own "code" for sustainable business results, and I realize there are many solutions to every problem, but I now think that alignment around culture may be just the single most important point for any business. I enjoyed the book and all the anecdotal stories and little case examples Papke weaves throughout. Since I learned a lot, I would highly recommend this book.
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Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to achieve and then sustain alignment of customer needs with an organization's leadership, culture, and brand intention 4 Dec. 2013
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If it were possible to retain Albert Einstein as a consultant to help members of an organization's senior management team to determine its purpose, strategy, and core business, he would probably recommend that everything be made as simple as possible but no simpler, adding "If you cannot explain each of them to a six year-old, you probably don't understand it." I agree him as well as with Edgar Papke that proper alignment is the key to business success. Determining an organization's purpose, strategy, and core business is "the most important conversation" for a business and its stakeholders. "Alignment is the ongoing conversation that leads to success. [begin italics] Alignment is the conversation. [end italics]"

In this book, Papke offers a measurable and observable approach to achieving and then sustaining alignment of customer needs with an organization's leadership, culture, and brand intention. This is indeed a major challenge to business leaders. Papke agrees, suggesting, "To confront this challenge, leaders need a systemic framework for understanding, assessing, and creating alignment. They and their teams and organizations require an approach that cuts through the complexity and eliminates the noise from multiple priorities, numerous initiatives, and the confusion of choices and options; an approach that provides a clear and simple roadmap to success."

I agree with all that except with the word "simple." If it really were simple, there would be no need for this book, or for any of the other 3,623 books on business alignment that Amazon now offers for sale.

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Papke's coverage.

o The Dangers of Misalignment (Pages 2-3)
o The Path of Alignment (4-8)
o Brand Intentions: Community, Customization, Preeminence, low price, physical wellbeing, and personal actualization (19-20)
o Customer Motivation (26-34)
o The Customer Experience (36-41)
o Customization (49-52)
o The Consultative Selling of Preeminence (76-79)
o About the Scalable Levels of Alignment (88-90)
o Aligning Strategy (95-100)
o Confronting Silos, Stovepipes, and Other Misalignments (103-107)
o The Twelve Culture Keys (116-140)
o The Three Culture Preferences: Participation, Expertise, and Authenticity (146-149)
o The Participation Preference (153-157)
o The Expertise Preference (157-164)
o The Authenticity Preference (170-174)
o The Three Preferences of Leaders (184-185)

Papke provides a wealth of information, insights, and counsel to guide and inform alignment initiatives. He includes a "True Alignment Assessment" (Pages 207-213) that, if conducted with appropriate rigor, can be -- all by itself -- worth far more than the cost of the book. Readers will also appreciate his citation of dozens of real-world examples from a diverse group of companies that include Apple, Harley-Davidson, Land's End, Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD), Walmart, and Whole Foods.

Here is what he has to say about the alignment approach's four elements, what he characterizes as "The Business Code": Broadly defined, the Customer is anyone involved with and/or affected by the given enterprise; Intention is a determination to complete a thoughtful and effective delivery of whatever is promised; Culture defines how those involved treat one another, the behaviors that define their community; and Leadership, the key to proper alignment at all levels and in all areas, provided by those who personify and exemplify customer centrism, organizational intention, and cultural values.

As I re-read this book while preparing to compose this brief commentary, I was again reminded of the extent to which a business resembles a vehicle. To function well, all of its moving parts must work together in proper alignment, performing separate but interdependent functions. Edgar Papke didn't design your "vehicle" but he can help you and your associates to make it run far better than it ever did before. How? By training each of those who read this book to become a master mechanic.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful tool for coaches and business leaders to lead organizational change and create success! 5 Dec. 2013
By Dr. Christine M Allen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
As a psychologist and executive coach, I found True Alignment, an incredibly helpful lens through which to view the work I do with leaders and leadership teams. So often coaching, team building, training, leadership development, talent selection, and 360 assessment occur in a vacuum that does not reflect the organization’s mission, purpose, business strategy and culture. The True Alignment concepts help the coach or business leader to think in an intentional and integrated way about how purpose, vision, brand intention, culture, strategy, and values should be aligned to help the business "win" the customer. With the clarity and elegance of this approach, I will be able to provide coaching and consulting services to organizations in a much more specific and valuable way, tailored to the unique culture and goals of each organization.

The book is incredibly "user-friendly" and will be a go-to resource on my shelf for working with businesses and organizations, large and small, non-profit and for-profit.

One aspect of the book I particularly like is Papke's willingness to share himself and his own path with the reader; his authenticity as a leadership and organizational consultant shines through as he shares some of his own experiences with the companies, projects, and leaders he has worked with along the way.

I highly recommend True Alignment!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Want Better Results? 25 Dec. 2013
By John Chancellor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
All leaders and stakeholders of businesses are constantly seeking to improve the results of their organization's efforts. Yet as we are painfully aware, many fail to achieve the level of performance they seek.

Edgar Papke, author of True Alignment, attributes the unsatisfactory results to lack of alignment. He starts the book with a quote, "The key strategic imperative of any business is alignment." He goes on to say, "Most leaders, teams, and companies struggle with alignment because, until now, they lacked an effective and easy-to-apply framework and approach."

In True Alignment, Mr. Papke delivers a step-by-step framework to achieve alignment across all segments of a business. Often in books like this, the author focuses on large-scale organizations and it is difficult at times to see how to apply the advice to smaller organizations. Mr. Papke has intentionally included examples of smaller companies and has made the framework applicable "to all businesses regardless of their size, market and origin. This makes this book valuable to any reader, in any role."

True alignment means that everything in the business is in alignment - working toward the same goal. The author has developed a process for achieving True Alignment that he has trademarked The Business Code (tm). But before you tackle the steps in The Business Code (tm), you need to understand the human motivation. Humans are motivated by three desires - To feel important, to feel competent and to feel accepted.

The components of The Business Code (tm) are:
Customer Motivation
Attention, Competency and Caring
Brand Intention
Community, Customization, Preeminence, Low Price
Physical Wellbeing, and Personal Actualization
Culture Preference
Participation, Expertise and Authenticity
Leadership Preference
Participative, Expert and Servant

In the book, Mr. Papke explores in detail each of the components that make up The Business Code. He also shows how misalignment occurs and points out the damage it can do to a business. The largest part of the book is spent discussing Brand Intention and Culture Preference and giving the reader some specific steps to make sure the Brand Intention and the Culture of the organization are in proper alignment.

Mr. Papke writes in the style of a consultant or academic. His writing is clear and flows well, it is just written in a more formal business style. There are plenty of real life examples included in book. This serves to bring the concepts to life. In the Appendix, there is a True Alignment Assessment for the reader to take. This is an excellent tool for a leader or consultant to use in determining where there are areas of misalignment in the business.

According to Mr. Papke, most businesses suffer from some degree of misalignment. This book will help you determine the areas within your business that may be suffering from misalignment and give you some tools to begin to bring the business into better alignment.

I was provided a review copy of this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helps crack the code between corporate culture and innovation. Love it. 25 Feb. 2014
By Thomas Lockwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Edgar Papke has an amazing ability to simplify the complex. He is one of the few people I know that can actually explain how to manage corporate culture and it's powerful influence on an organizations innovation capabilities. I appreciate how Papke tells a story that integrates a focus on the customer with a focus on business needs, and then shows how alignment and corporate culture can either embrace success, or in fact make success more difficult. I particularly liked the sections on Decoding Culture and Aligning Culture. This book makes me wonder if actually the biggest challenge for many companies, is the company itself.

It seems like everyone claims to have their own "code" for sustainable business results, and I realize there are many solutions to every problem, but I now think that alignment around culture may be just the single most important point for any business. I enjoyed the book and all the anecdotal stories and little case examples Papke weaves throughout. Since I learned a lot, I would highly recommend this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars See your organization clearly and get better results. 23 Nov. 2013
By Mark Aardsma - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book provides an organized way of thinking about customer needs, business strategy, company culture, and leadership style. It's a remarkably insightful unified theory of business.

Most leadership books are written from one perspective. They promote expert, collaborative, or servant leadership styles, and the company cultures that go with them. This book zooms out and looks at each style through a broader lens. Rather than advocating one size fits all, it brilliantly shows how each leadership style and company culture aligns with particular competitive strategies.

As you read and reflect on yourself and your organization, you'll see where you fit, and what you can change to get the results you want.

I've been privileged to learn this material in recent years from the author's speaking and consulting services. The companies I run are better off as a result. I'm so glad it's now available in book form.
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