Author: Tony Rea

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Tony Rea is managing principal of 20/20 HR LLC bas

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Are You Getting Desired Results? By Tony Rea

  in Leadership | Published 2011-07-26 10:23:46 | 255 Reads | Unrated


Organizations that want to move to higher levels of performance and exceed desired results need to have alignment of their key organizational systems But what does it mean to be “in alignment”

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Organizations that want to move to higher levels of performance and exceed desired results need to have alignment of their key organizational systems. But what does it mean to be “in alignment”?

Alignment occurs when the key organizational systems are in place and these interdependent systems are supporting one another. When these systems are working together, organizations can increase profitability, reduce cost and achieve exceptional results.

The key organizational systems are:

•Rewards & Recognition
•Customer Loyalty
•Results & Measurement

The model can be illustrated as shown below and is also referred to as the STAR Model. The STAR Model was originally created by Jay R. Galbraith. The model been expanded upon by a number of authors, including Jim Godshall of the Total Quality Institute. These components should be familiar because they are the elements of “Performance Excellence” used to determine the Malcolm Baldrige Award each year.

Strategy refers to the actions needed to create a competitive advantage in the market place. It identifies the vision, mission and core values of the company. In addition, strategic planning evaluates the internal and external market forces and assess the organization’s current state. The strategic plan would also include specific short-term tactics, longer-term objectives and a timeline for accomplishment.

Structure is the manner in which the organization’s resources and people are allocated and configured to operate the organization. Key questions that needs to be answered about structure include:

•Does the organization’s structure enable its strategy?
•Is it organized correctly for its business segment?
•How are the organization’s resources being utilized?
•Does reporting and information flow appropriately and efficiently?
•Who owns the gaps and spaces?

Process simply refers to the manner in which things get done in the organization. W. Edwards Deming, one of the founders of the modern quality movement said “There are not bad people, only bad processes.” For example, is the company’s shipping process efficient and do customers receive their orders on a timely basis. Does shipping work in conjunction with the sales department or are their bottlenecks that damage the company’s service levels and reputation? When processes are working correctly, there is value being added at each step. The organization is efficient, effective and has a sense of urgency.

Recognition and Rewards create a climate in which people motivate themselves to achieve organizational goals. Alignment is critical! The rewards must be tied to the results you want to achieve. Remember that you usually get the behaviors that you reward. You need to be sure that you are rewarding the behaviors that drive your desired results and not inadvertently rewarding counter-productive behavior.

People are obvious keys to organizational results. They deliver the organization’s respective products and services to the customer. Most important, their value can be maximized by having superior human capital practices in place. There has been extensive research that has proven that a committed and engaged workforce can greatly increase shareholder value. In some cases, this can be as much as 300% greater than organizations without these proven human capital practices. Organizations must nurture the talent needed to implement the strategic plan and achieved desired results.

Leadership has been defined by Dwight D. Eisenhower as “the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Leadership is the organization’s ability to influence the actions and behaviors of its people to achieve the organization’s goals. Many volumes have been written about the necessary characteristics of good leaders. But there is really only one differentiator that defines “great” leadership – it is the ability to achieve desired results. The general who lost the war, the coach who never won the big game, the CEO whose company failed, are never held out as examples of leadership success.

Customer Loyalty is the value placed on the products and services an organization delivers to its customers. Research indicates that a gain of 5% in customer loyalty can lift lifetime profits per customer by as much as 95%. Strong customer loyalty means that an organization regularly measures customer satisfaction and responds to customer feedback. It knows what the customer truly wants and it is willing to deliver on promises made to the customer.

Results are the determining factor of whether the organization is successful. The intended results can be measured by profits, revenue, community service, or a wide assortment of other types of measurements. It is important that the organization has defined intended results and has measures in place that support the organization’s strategy. Ideally, a “results dashboard” should be created so that the organization’s achievements can be fully assessed, communicated and embraced by all stakeholders.

So what are the implications of the STAR Model? For an organization to be truly effective, all these systems must be aligned and interacting harmoniously with one another. When that exists, an organization can excel and transcend ordinary results.

An ideal scenario would look like:

Strong LEADERSHIP characteristics are embraced that drive result achievement.

A planned STRATEGY exists to enable success….and everyone knows what it is.

Appropriate STRUCTURE results from the strategy….. it’s lean, and every employee knows what to do.

PROCESSES are effective, efficient, fast, and error free.

PEOPLE are properly and adequately trained, and they know exactly how to achieve success.

People are RECOGNIZED for “doing it right the first time.”

CUSTOMER LOYALTY is exceptional.

The organization consistently MEASURES and exceeds intended RESULTS.



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About the Author

Tony Rea is managing principal of 20/20 HR LLC based in suburban Chicago, IL. For more information visit