In the mid-2000s, I was running NetQoS, the network management software firm I cofounded with my wife in 1999. I was years into my CEO journey, and I’d gotten a pretty good feel for the unique challenges of the role.
One challenge kept popping up again and again: keeping people aligned. In the business world, we talk about the alignment problem all the time, using well-worn—dare I say tired—phrases like “rowing in the same direction” or images like geese in a V. But we talk about company alignment a lot because it does actually matter.
At NetQoS, I found myself surprised when I would give everyone our objectives for the quarter, but then people would start working on projects unrelated to the objectives. I needed a better system for aligning the team—and I decided to build one of my own.