The Power of Alignment

Posted: January 15, 2011 in Partnership
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An article written by Andrew L. Miser on alignment in partnerships of couples gives food for thought for using some of these lessons in the enterprise environment. Couples tend to align, and when something in their live is not working well, or is creating misalignment, the partners will work together to resolve the issue to get back in alignment. Isn’t that what we are looking for in the business/IT relation as well? So, why not look further than the domain of business and IT alignment.

The paper identifies five distinct areas where being in alignment can make a big difference. Those five areas include the perspectives the partners share with respect to each other and their relationship, the values they share in their lives together, the vision they have for their relationship, the future they visualize, and the projects and committed action to which they commit to realize heir dreams.


Align on perspectives

A perspective or point of view is the particular way of seeing or framing what happens in live. Three perspectives are mentioned which can have a positive impact.

First, adopt and align on the perspective that nothing is inherently wrong with either of the partners or the partnership in itself. With this perspective you can powerful focus on an issue you are dealing with and can avoid assessing weaknesses in yourselves or in the relationship.

Second, adopt the framework that each of you are responsible for your own happiness, but not that of your partner. Although you are not responsible, you can be committed to it.

Third, adopt the perspective that, for your relationship to work, it must work for both of you. A partnership can only be a partnership when it is collaborative and a “win: for both of you and for your relationship.

So, both partners are equally responsible for the partnership!

Align on values

Some couples value mutual understanding, validation, communication, openness, compromise, and friendship. Other couples value the freedom to express different viewpoints, emotional expressiveness, and passion. Still other couples value minimizing conflict, sharing common ground, harmony and autonomy. Couples who co-create and align on their values can be very successful and fulfilled in their relationship over the long-term. When you and your partner are able to articulate and generate the core values in your relationship, you co-create the foundation of your relationship on an on-going basis.

Align on vision

Another area where you and your partner can be in alignment is in articulating a vision for your lives and your relationship. A vision for your partnership conveys what you want to express in the world as the fulfillment of your lives together. It is not just the achievement of life goals or objectives. A vision for your relationship represents what you stand side-by-side for in your family and in your community. A vision could be thought of as a co-created stand for the quality of your relationship and lifestyle.

Align on visualizing the future

A fourth way you and your partner co-create your lives is through inventing a future for your partnership. To create the future, first anchor yourselves in what you value and in the vision you have for your relationship. Then, visualize and share with each other your dreams of your future, irrespective of time. Once you share and experience your possible desired future together, you can choose and align on a timeframe for the manifestation of the future you have both co-created. Committing together to the future you have co-created is essential for expressing your partnership in action. Almost immediately after making this commitment to your future, you will see a host of “partnership projects” needed to fulfill on the future you have envisioned. You will experience an alignment of focus and action when you undertake these partnership projects as an expression of your commitment to make manifest your future.

Align on committed action

Partnership projects are distinct from the normal “routine” of life as they are co-created by the couple to bring their future into existence and co-owned for the duration of the project. Within these projects, you and your partner can cooperate together in planned action and in co-owning your accomplishments, both the intended and the unintended outcomes. You can examine and acknowledge any disempowering perspectives you may have unwittingly adopted along the way as well as identify actions and accomplishments that you still need to take. By co-owning the results of your project(s), you are able to re-create your partnership and stay in action. When co-creating projects and bringing them to fruition, you will find that there are several necessary steps to co-designing a successful partnership project. These include creating the future accomplishment of the partnership project, sharing any current perspectives and concerns that may be limiting the project outcomes, creating and choosing an empowering way of being for the project, defining the actions necessary to fulfill the partnership project and putting them into time. It is also works and is fun to name the project. You will also discover that, throughout the life of your project(s), you must meet periodically so you can evaluate the results of your actions, plan the next steps of their projects and be in alignment on a regular basis.


Although all of the above is writtten around a partnership between two people, much of it could be beneficial for a healthy relationship between business and IT within a company. It all starts with the wish to establish a real good partnership between business and IT. Top level management must believe in this, and try to fill in all of the five areas.



Miser, Andrew L.: The Power of Alignment, Elysian Enterprises, Brookline.


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