Lack of strategic alignment is fatal: GoPro’s experience

When leaders at the same organization don’t share the same goals, when they fail to collaborate, it’s a clear sign of failed strategy. Here’s what CJ Prober, COO at GoPro had to say about the mess he inherited (reporting by Bloomberg):

Prober, who in early in his career worked as a management consultant at McKinsey, partly blames a siloed organization for the unforced errors. He says teams were isolated from one other and focused on a specific agenda rather than working together. Ultimately, he says, the company’s ambitious product pipeline overwhelmed a management team with too many layers and sign-offs.

Prober vows to avoid future mishaps with a smaller, flatter organization. Late last year, the company shuttered its entertainment unit and eliminated 15 percent of its employees, a third of whom were vice presidents or higher. “A lot of times when you reduce complexity in a business, it helps you make the jobs of teams better,” Prober says. “It’s less stuff to worry about, more clarity.” His mantra for 2017: “Do more with less.”

Are your teams strategically aligned?

Perhaps it’s time to ask some tough questions:

  • What are the company’s objectives and what are my team’s objectives? Are they coherent?
  • What activities don’t contribute to the company goals? How are they not distractions?
  • Who is working in the shadow, silently driving their individual agenda?

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