Category: HSC Fundamentals

Alignovation© HSC’s Approach to Organizational Alignment

By: Darren Hayes



[Paul Hocksenar: Innovation]


Every business today struggles with the effort of balancing historically stable business practices against competitive market pressures to be more dynamic and innovative. Harmonic Systems Consulting (HSC) works to help businesses maintain this fine balance using a process called “alignovation©”, which can be defined as constructive tension between organizational alignment and process or product innovation.


It’s good to remember that, as the term “organization” implies, any business is a team effort. Because of this it is necessary for businesses to develop a highly cooperative approach towards handling their clients’ needs. However, this is not always easy given that it is also important for businesses to remember:


A) Each individual business, as well as each type of business, has its own unique culture requiring uniquely tailored solutions, methods, products, etc.; and


B) Having the ability to maintain strong lines of communication between everyone involved in every step of the work process is vital.


By knowing how to arm themselves with organization-wide knowledge and form highly cooperative teams, businesses can create extremely stable, well aligned working conditions that are easy to handle and maintain, yet quickly adapt to change.


While possessing a strong sense of stability can be good for a time, it would be wise to remember that the world keeps on changing, and that the pressing drive for new products and services keeps changing too. Being a specialist may make you particularly good at whatever it is that you do, but if you become too specialized then you lose the ability to adapt to changes in the market. If the changes become too radical too fast, you get left behind.


Becoming too focused on change can be bad in its own way as well. If you constantly change without clear structure or purpose, you may lose all stability and order.



Alignovation© is an attempt to overcome these issues by defining a fine balance between the “order” of alignment and the “chaos” of innovation.


As an example, business processes need to be standardized for operational excellence, but they need to keep up with other changes in the business. There are three main things that HSC helps businesses establish and maintain when redesigning processes:


  1. Process Owner: responsible for the care and feeding of the process as changes occur

  2. Process Metrics: tells how well the process is functioning over time

  3. Process Control Techniques: making sure the process is working as it should. If it doesn’t work, the process owner should change it

Similarly, HSC addresses alignovation© in other aspects of the organization as well.

In order to move forward effectively, all organizational resources must be aligned with the business strategy. This may include changing even the culture of the company itself if necessary.


At HSC, we even apply our alignovation© strategy to ourselves by aligning resources and activities with a set of principles, models and procedural methods, while also innovating using knowledge gained through research and regular brainstorming sessions with highly experienced peers and business associates of the company, as well as through after-action reviews. The main point that HSC hopes to establish is a consistent cycle of alignment, innovation and, finally, realignment.


Well, that’s all for now! Hope this helps!

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The Importance of Orgatechture©

 By: Darren Hayes


in an Information Technology environment


If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

Henry David Thoreau



Harmony loves the quote from Henry David Thoreau displayed above. It can be associated with so many things we all deal with in life, for example, the new parents’ dream of providing a secure environment for their family, the personal effort to turn ambition into reality, the use of education to build a rewarding career and, in a business, the implementation of strategy to achieve an objective.


Nearly everyone reading this Blog will agree that in today’s business world it is extremely important that the direction of the Information Technology (IT) effort be closely aligned with, and directly supportive of, the overall business strategy. When the IT effort is not properly aligned with strategy the IT function can become a stumbling block to business success, seemingly lost in the cloud somewhere in the air above, all too often hindering constructive change instead of supporting innovative improvements. This alignment, unfortunately, does not exist in all businesses, and is not easy to achieve.


We at HSC have found that the leaders in any business relying on strong IT support must agree to, and strongly enforce, a set of general principles that guide the application of IT resources over the long term. These guiding principles can then serve as a foundation for the successful alignment of the IT function with the ever evolving strategy for the business.


Harmonic Systems Consulting refers to this alignment of IT resources with business strategy as “Orgatechture”©: the foundational architecture that effectively aligns IT resources and goals with those of the overall business strategy.

Photo by: Papsama

Photo by: Papsama

We are not talking about what many IT professionals refer to as “architecture,” such as defining what brand of laptop to use or which communications protocol to use as a standard. To use an analogy, many organizations build IT systems as if they are using different architects to design different rooms in a house without defining the overall architecture of the house. As a result, the plumbing in the kitchen may have different diameter pipes than the powder room, impeding connectivity. In addition, the company’s “residents” may need one level living and the house is designed with three floors so it doesn’t match their needs.


Without proper “orgatechture”© a business will not have the IT capability to properly support both current and new organizational activities. With the proper “orgatechture”© however, the IT function can provide a business with a significant competitive advantage.


Harmonic Systems Consulting helps clients develop IT strategies that are aligned with and support the overall business strategy.


Ready to take action? Contact us!


Harmonic Systems Consulting’s Orchestra Model©

By: Darren Hayes

Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic

Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic

This week in Harmonic Systems Consulting (HSC), we’ll be taking a quick look at how HSC defines and utilizes its Orchestra Model© to help businesses better organize for alignovation©. Now, when you hear the term Orchestra Model©, the first thing that should come to mind is music, right?  Well, at HSC the company’s goal is to help your business get in tune, play together in perfect harmony and sing the same song in perfect-pitch.  In other words: the Orchestra Model© is designed to convey the importance of ensuring that an organization is dynamically aligned to promote innovation in execution.  In order to do this HSC views the overall layout of an organization as a model of orchestration.

Think about it in musical terms:

Orchestra Model with Harmon (2)

By viewing organizational structure in such a piecemeal manner and evaluating how the pieces should align as a whole, it becomes easier to assess problem areas and work out unique, practical solutions tailored to your individual needs.  HSC’s endgame here is to help you achieve a state of sustainable growth by creating a balance (or Harmony) between alignment and innovation (i.e., between what is standard and what is unique and new).
Well, that’s all for now folks.

Ready to take action? Contact us!

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