During the 2012 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney got a lot of flak when he said, “Companies are people, too.” It was probably (well, certainly) the wrong thing in the context of a presidential election but it can be a useful analogy—especially when discussing alignment. When a major issue comes up at your company, is everybody at the table trying to serve the same “person's” interests? Or is one person serving the engineering team, another person serving the sales team, one board member serving the VC fund, another serving the early-stage angel investors—and another serving the CEOs? Or is everybody serving the company's interests? If they're not, your team is misaligned—“nobody” else's interests are nearly as important as those of the company.
You can't align everybody behind your company's interests if you can't clearly define and communicate those interests. Doing so requires five steps: