The Hero of Time and Strategic Alignment

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June 29, 2017 | Craig Schwipps | HCI

The first Legend of Zelda game for the NES was released in 1986, over thirty years ago.

In early March, Nintendo began selling their brand-new console, and with it, the latest Zelda installment: Breath of the Wild. Doing a side-by-side comparison, it’s astounding and impressive how far the video game industry has come.

To go from 16-bit graphics made up of little squares to having near-lifelike imagery with bright vivid colors, jaw-dropping soundtracks and immersive storylines in worlds that seem to have no limit is a huge achievement. It’s exciting to see where the future can possibly go for games and consoles when it’s already had such a huge advance. I also firmly believe that, while the new and innovative changes are welcome, it is important to know what hasn’t changed and why.

Going in a new direction certainly shifts things up, but it’s important to stay connected to your roots and ground yourself in what you know works. Nintendo is a great example of this.

Nintendo is not only a video game organization. For a long time, it has been known as a “family-friendly” video game company. A large majority of their games are centered on the idea that anyone in the family can play them. Nintendo games are colorful and meant to be played by anyone for FUN, not just to get a certain gamer score online.

Many organizations are seeking to strike the balance that Nintendo has, where they are always pushing boundaries and trying new things, but at the same time remaining true to their values and culture. It’s not an easy task, especially if there is a fear of failure or everyone is not on board with the ideas. Often it comes down to the sad state of strategy execution in business today.

Sixty-seven percent of well-formulated strategies fail due to poor execution. And poor execution largely comes about from not having your entire team or organization aligned on the same goal and idea. Almost 95 percent of employees don’t even understand their organization’s strategy! Some don’t even get access to the strategic plan.

It’s evident that this only hinders organizations. Let’s change these stats up, and, as cliché as this may sound, get in the game! Nintendo has shown how to successfully execute strategy for decades. They’ve come a long way from making cartridge games to releasing motion control games and pushing the limit for what can be done. None of these ideas would have succeeded without proper alignment of their team and one goal for a common drive.

Be the hero that the office deserves. Align your employees and drive profitable growth through successful strategy execution.