This post shares the tools we used to work on organizational alignment at our Strategyzer retreat in Tunisia. We designed the event to create a shared understanding of strategic and operational challenges. It kicks off an effort to put a sound company-wide alignment system in place to handle the growth ahead of us before it gets too crazy.
Last week, the entire Strategyzer team came together in a nice resort in Hammamet, Tunisia, for our annual retreat. We aimed to create a so-called Moment of Impact that makes a difference for each participant and the company as a whole. This year we decided to work on alignment to create a sound foundation for growth. This is crucial for a company like ours spread across 4 continents and 5 time zones.
The three working days focused on boosting a shared understanding. Each day had a different alignment focus:
Day 1: Strategic alignment on the business model and its current strengths and weaknesses.
Day 2: Understanding each other’s work, including roles, responsibilities, and workflows.
Day 3: Cross-functional collaboration (content and design team, software development and support team).
How do you measure alignment?
We used Stefano Mastrogiacomo’s powerful Coopilot method and prototype software to assess if the retreat produced any progress on team alignment. With an anonymous vote at the beginning and the end of the 3 workshop days, we assessed progress on understanding:
To boost strategic alignment in a practical way we focused on the business model, its environment, and its strengths and weaknesses. Then we developed improvements to the business model. We split into groups to:
Here our goal was to get the team to see what everybody does and to understand each other’s work across functions. For example, the software development team does not know how the content team works and vice-versa. Understanding each other’s workflow creates a fertile ground for better collaboration.
We did several exercises to create this mutual understanding. The funniest one is from Gamestorming called “Welcome to My World”. This is how it works:
People loved the exercise and learned a ton about each other’s daily realities and struggles.
We ended the working part of the retreat in small cross-functional groups. For example, the content and design team, which are in different parts of the world, worked together. Or the software development team and the distributed support team, collaborated.
Here's the entire workshop structure of our retreat if you want to learn more about the other workshop exercises we did or just check out some of the pictures.
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