Alignment and Orientation: LeadTogether Highlight #11 11-24-14
Alignment is an important element in any organization, school or business. How people are aligned with the whole of the organization and understand both how the parts work together and how they can be successful in the parts and the whole is vital to the ongoing success of any organization. More often than not, the practical realities of an organization’s life draw people into positions of responsibilities without allowing for time to help them prepare with a proper orientation. This is especially true in small organizations that rely on volunteers to make up for the lack of resources.
There are many elements to a good orientation, but these three are perhaps the most essential:
- Developing alignment with the ideals, values and culture of the organization;
- Establishing clarity about an individual’s roles and responsibilities and how these fit into the whole organization, and;
- Providing a mentor to assure support for a successful beginning.
In Waldorf Schools, alignment is the most important. A spiritually oriented organization requires an active conscious connection to its spiritual foundations for all participating members of the community, not just for individuals at the core or in leadership positions.
Every activity, from faculty meeting to board meeting to parent meeting to committee meeting is an opportunity to explore and renew one’s connection to and understanding of the spiritual foundations of the education and the organization. If this is done consciously, it makes a huge difference in the success of the institution. But the alignment with the impulse cannot take place only in the meetings. Each individual must also work on it by himself or herself.
One of the best ways to assure this work on alignment happens--whether it is for a family entering the school, a new board member, a volunteer or a new teacher -- is making sure it is a part of every person’s orientation.