Media & Publications

 “A unique blend of practical insights and academic research make this a definitive guide to enterprise alignment. Align is a core read for every business leader.”

Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner Emeritus, McKinsey & Company

Books

Align: A Leadership Blueprint for Aligning Enterprise Purpose, Strategy and Organisation

Why do some businesses thrive, while many more struggle and fail? A key reason – and the focus of this book – is strategic alignment. This is the careful arrangement of the various elements of an enterprise – from its business strategy to its organisation – to best support the fulfilment of its long-term purpose. The best-aligned enterprises are the best performing.

Most executives recognise that their enterprises should be managed in this aligned way, but lack a robust system of thought to allow them to execute strategic alignment effectively and realise its full benefits. There are thousands of organisations globally that are operating below their potential simply because they are not aligned. This book aims to change that.

In Align, Jonathan Trevor provides a blueprint for how strategic alignment can be effectively developed, implemented and sustained. Drawing upon active research at the University of Oxford's Said Business School, Jonathan also provides practical case studies and evidence-based insights – culminating in a thoughtful and compelling message to help leaders everywhere to improve their alignment and enterprise performance.

FT Business Book of the Month (November 2019)

A Leadership Blueprint for Aligning Enterprise Purpose, Strategy and Organisation

ALIGN: A LEADERSHIP BLUEPRINT FOR ALIGNING ENTERPRISE PURPOSE, STRATEGY AND ORGANISATION, BY JONATHAN TREVOR

Nuance is the enemy of business books. As a confused manager, it is infinitely more tempting to accept a prepared template for leadership and try to stuff your business into it. But Jonathan Trevor, a former consultant and now associate professor at Oxford’s Saïd Business School, rightly points out that a one-size-fits-all approach to strategic alignment is bound to fail. Each business is different and its challenges will fall somewhere between the two options usually offered to leaders — “bureaucracy” and “post-bureaucracy” (which includes the modishly unhierarchical “network organisation”).

As the business and its context develops, so the alignment will change. Still, recognising the attractiveness of a method, Trevor offers readers a trademarked strategic alignment framework, against which they can assess their specific challenges and choices, from stability to agility, autonomy to connectivity.

In a world swamped with companies’ declarations of purpose — increasingly synonymous with positive corporate responsibility — the book makes clear that when it comes to alignment, purpose is fundamentally what the business does and why it matters for its stakeholders.

From this flow strategy, organisational capability, architecture and management systems all of which should ideally, be in alignment.  It sounds simple but, Trevor writes, it can “feel like chasing an elusive will-o’-the-wisp”. The enterprise value chain he describes is “only ever as strong as its weakest link”. From McDonald's to Huawei, Align offers examples of aligned and misaligned organisations, but, as he explains in his introductory invitation to apply the tools he provides, “the very best illustrative example . . . is your own enterprise”. (Andrew Hill, FT.com, November 2019)

“A unique blend of practical insights and academic research make this a definitive guide to enterprise alignment. Align is a core read for every business leader.”

Dominic Barton

Global Managing Partner Emeritus, McKinsey & Company

“Jonathan Trevor has done the extraordinary: he's taken a core business concept that most of us think we know well, studied it carefully, and given us a new, deep, and practical approach to alignment. His work is particularly timely as leaders in this complicated time wrestle with defining their purpose and aligning it to their strategy and organizations.”

Professor Peter Tufano

Peter Moores Dean of the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

“As someone who is often resistant to accepting advice from business books for even my own strategies, it is no small feat that Jonathan Trevor's book has commanded my attention and that, more importantly, I have learned greatly from it.”

John Crabtree OBE

Lord Lieutenant of West Midlands and Chair of the 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee

“In Align, Jonathan Trevor passionately shares why connecting core purpose, strategy and organization lead to a highly successful and sustainable enterprise. Many of us business leaders have relied on our instincts and experience; now Align articulates an alignment framework that enables us to better bridge these critical components to seamlessly navigate our teams into in the rapidly changing future.”

Angela Ahrendts DBE

former SVP, Apple Retail & CEO, Burberry

“Senior leadership teams eager to improve their performance will find this book provides a clear pathway to diagnosing problems and making choices for action to deliver sustainable change.”

Dame Sandra Dawson

Professor Emerita, University of Cambridge

“A tour de force. Jonathan Trevor argues powerfully that the alignment of purpose, strategy and organization are the bedrock of successful performance. He provides a wealth of examples and sets out the questions which leaders need to ask if they are to overcome disruption and intense competition.”

Lord Richard Wilson GCB

former Cabinet Secretary and former Head of the Home Civil Service

“Strategic and organizational alignment is crucial to the success of any company and this book, with its mix of academic rigour and real-life case studies, makes this abundantly clear.”

Angus Cockburn

Group Chief Financial Officer, Serco Group Plc

“When the business community finds the right balance between customers, employees, communities and shareholders, society as a whole benefits. The key to this is alignment, and Jonathan Trevor's book provides a unique insight into why holistic management has become so crucial.”

Sergio Ermotti

CEO of UBS Group AG

“Align is an invaluable compass for business leaders looking to develop a deeper understanding of their organization, providing guidance that will allow them to plot their future with confidence.”

Hajime Watanabe

CEO, Development Bank of Japan

“The success of any enterprise is highly dependent upon the effective alignment of its various elements. Align is the essential guide for any business leader looking to master this process.”

Ning Tang

CEO and founder, CreditEase

“Jonathan Trevor has succeeded in writing a clear, concise and engaging exposition about the importance of alignment – a mission critical matter for every type of enterprise, whether social, governmental or commercial. Align is a must read for any serious student or practitioner of leadership.”

Lord Victor O Adebowale CBE

CEO, Turning Point and Chancellor of the University of Lincoln
Align Ltd Times of Changes

How to align your organisation in times of change

The disruption stemming from the COVID-19 global pandemic presents leaders of established businesses with a rare opportunity to change the fundamentals of their organisation for the better, in ways that would not be possible or palatable in ‘normal times’. 

Harvard Business Review

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A Simple Way To Test Your Company’s Strategic Alignment  Praise for Align

Strategic alignment, for us, means that all elements of a business — including the market strategy and the way the company itself is organized — are arranged in such a way as to best support the fulfillment of its long-term purpose. There is a simple test you can perform to start an honest conversation about strategy and organizational effectiveness where you work.  

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How Aligned Is Your Organization?

Most executives today know their enterprises should be aligned. They know their strategies, organizational capabilities, resources, and management systems should all be arranged to support the enterprise’s purpose.

The challenge is that executives tend to focus on one of these areas to the exclusion of the others, but what really matters for performance is how they all fit together.  

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Is Anyone  In  Your Company Paying Attention To Strategic Alignment?  How Aligned Is Your Organization?

The best-performing companies are often the best aligned. But who in your company is paying attention to how well aligned your strategy is with your organization’s purpose and capabilities?  

European Business Review

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How To Design An Ambidextrous Organization

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Future Work: Changes, Choices and Consequences

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