Achieving Strategic Alignment™

How To Harness Its Power to Exceed Your Organizational Goals

Table of Contents

Why a revised edition

Before the strategic planning session
Chapter 1: Strategic Alignment
Chapter 2: Preparing for the Strategic Planning Session
Chapter 3: Pre-Retreat Work: Industry and Competitive Analysis
Chapter 4: Pre-Retreat Work: Strategic Planning Session Agenda

During the strategic planning session
Chapter 5: 1-3-5 Method of Goal Setting™
Chapter 6: Creative Brainstorming
Chapter 7: Mind mapping tool
Chapter 8: Converting Goals into Deliverables

After the strategic planning session
Chapter 9: Implementing Your Plan
Chapter 10: Why Strategic Plans Fail
Chapter 11: Harnessing the Power of Strategic Alignment
Appendices: Diagram-Strategic Alignment Process

Diagram-Strategically Aligned Organization
Forms and Templates

Why I decided to publish a revised version of the book

In the two years since I published the first edition of Achieving Strategic Alignment, I have spent over 3,000 hours leading CEO workshops, delivering speeches to hundreds of CEOs and working with a variety of organizations across the United States. During that time, I have introduced new tools to enhance the capability of an organization to drive the achievement of its goals down through the entire organization. I have worked with several executive teams and their direct reports to improve their ability to set achievable goals. I accomplished this by introducing them to two new tools; creative brainstorming and mind mapping. By strengthening the capability to brainstorm more creatively, organizations were able to explore outside of their normal business beliefs and stretch beyond their expectations. Using a tool called "mind-mapping" I was able to help businesses get their teams involved in the creation and delegation of action items which, when completed, would lead the organization to achieving its strategic plan goals. In this edition, I have added content to several chapters and written two new chapters: one on effective brainstorming and one on mind mapping. The goal of the new content is to provide every organization with new ways to explore capabilities and discover the ability to look beyond preconceived notions about what it is possible when you eliminate self-limiting beliefs.

I have added some examples of how organizations have used the content of this book to achieve their goals through better strategic alignment of their activities. As with the first book, my goal is that the 2nd Edition will provide every organization with a framework for setting strategic goals and "Achieving Strategic Alignment" in order to realize those goals.


During my work with CEOs and their executive teams, I have watched amazing transformations in organizations as they take ownership of strategic alignment and begin to harness the powerful force that it generates. When an organization gains clarity on its goals and every employee understands how they can contribute to achieving those goals, the organization flourishes.

This book is a blueprint for you to follow as you go through the process of achieving strategic alignment in your organization. My book is not about the theory of strategic alignment. It is about how to achieve strategic alignment. Over the past forty years, I developed my approach to achieving strategic alignment by drawing from the experience and knowledge that I gained while working as a CEO and business owner as well as working with over three hundred CEOs and business leaders.

I have purposefully kept my book short. To me, the most valuable business books are the ones that keep their message clear and concise. My goal was to pack it full of powerful information and tools but also ensure that it is a quick and engaging read. Ultimately, this book is meant to be read not once but re-read and referenced often as you move beyond theory to truly transformative application of the process of achieving strategic alignment.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 - STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT

Imagine what it will be like to go into your office and know that every employee in your organization is working on two or three focused deliverable tasks that, when completed, will help you achieve your strategic goals. Picture what you can accomplish as an organization where 100 percent of your employees consistently help drive your organization toward successfully reaching its goals. That is the power of strategic alignment. This book is about how to create, generate, and harness that power.

Strategic Alignment

This is not another book about teamwork, commitment, vision, and mission. Nowhere in this book will you find the all too familiar picture of four people in a row boat with the word "teamwork" emblazoned beneath it. I see a lot of strategy books available at the bookstore that talk about theory but they seldom give you a practical guide on how you can make their theory work in your organization.

What you will find in this book is a functional blueprint for creating strategic alignment along with detailed steps that you, your executive team, and your employees need to take to clarify the long and short term goals of your company and then in order to drive strategic alignment down through your entire organization.

Most strategic plans begin to fail within two weeks of creation. Let that sink in for a minute. They start failing within two weeks! How is that possible? The entire executive team was out of the office, locked away in a hotel conference room for two days working on a budget and plans for the upcoming year. How can the plan begin to fail within two weeks? The demise begins when the executive team returns from its planning retreat without a clearly defined plan for communicating the strategic goals to the rest of the organization. Likewise, there is no plan in place for getting the rest of the organization committed to the achievement of those goals. Strategic alignment does not trickle down through an organization. It is driven down through the organization by your commitment and your leadership. Without a focused effort to drive alignment down through an organization, a newly created strategic plan usually gets stuffed in a file cabinet where it will gather dust until it is opened again just before next year's strategy session.

About the author:

Barry MacKechnie has more than 45 years of experience as a business leader, working with CEO's in over 450 businesses and as a business owner and CEO himself. Based upon his extensive business experience, Barry has developed a blueprint for executives to follow as they lead their organization through the process of achieving strategic alignment. Barry facilitates strategic planning sessions for organizations across the spectrum of industries and performs CEO workshops on achieving strategic alignment throughout the United States. Barry is a dynamic public speaker on transforming the way businesses work to meet and exceed organizational goals.