Art Johnson’s The Art of Alignment
The word ‘revolution’ has been getting its groove back, as of late. Whether it’s Bernie Sanders wanting to orchestrate a political ‘revolution’, or the women who founded the early organizations jumpstarting #MeToo and the Times Up movement, bucking the status quo has never been more widely in fashion. Naturally this has found itself in the epitome of many said issues, the workplace.
Specifically, workplace management. Business leadership like Art Johnson’s has advocated a groundbreaking new philosophy to maintaining professional hierarchy, which he has coined the Alignment organization. Alignment in and of itself is fundamentally a symbol for equality, an invitation for reformatting workplace hierarchy to include employee input on company policy. Through specific examples in his new book, The Art of Alignment: A Data-Driven Approach to Lead Aligned Organizations, Johnson states the institution of such a policy isn’t just a necessity, but a guarantee for innovative forms of success.
Many people arguing for a retooling of standard practices and corporate values have differing, sometimes unclear hypothetical strokes they advocate for. Johnson bucks this with bell-clear, concise, and decidedly anti-flowery linguistics. He cuts through excess hyperbole and presents the Alignment business philosophy in matter-of-fact, blunt prose. The surprising amount of emotion the writing conjures is by way of Johnson’s handpicked quotations and specific examples of interior innovation brought on by unnamed employees, some of whose ideas have saved major corporations tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Johnson’s ultimate argument is that vision is dependent and somewhat symbiotic to a harmonious relationship with relevant collectivism. When a product will positively impact a mass consumer base, he stresses the importance of walking the tightrope between that fine line of exclusivity and power and equality and unification when it comes to corporate outlook. Johnson also warns heavily of the dangers of alienation between the theoretical employer and employees, something he states has been a preexisting thorn in industry’s side. “When there is little or no employee alignment around an organization’s mission and vision, employees don’t truly understand…” Johnson states. “…There is no personal connection to the success of the company or to the customers.”
Arguably, The Art of Alignment: A Data-Driven Approach to Lead Aligned Organizations should be required reading for anyone wanting to enter, or about to start, a business. For once, there’s someone who is a long-experienced professional and high-ranking entrepreneur not being foxy about observed and learned tactics ensuring policy success stories. The result is a generously specific, surprisingly page-turning reading experience spelling out the future of corporate organizational policy.