A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:
ARTHUR JOHNSON INFINITY SYSTEMS INC.
Arthur Johnson is marking two years of helping companies measure employee alignment and identify best practices to address problem areas as chief executive of Minneapolis-based Infinity Systems Inc.
Johnson said he spent some 15 years refining Orgametrics, a proprietary diagnostic survey tool that quantifies employee alignment with an organization's mission and vision, including input from business and organizational development experts.
"Your Orgametrics Score describes the level of alignment within your organization," Johnson said. "It's like your 'Sleep Number.' Once we have that diagnosis, we can get into some of the prescriptive measures."
Those often come from Johnson's experience in corporate leadership positions in sales at IBM, US West and Medtronic. Johnson left Medtronic in 2013 to develop Orgametrics as a commercial product.
"If a company has a misalignment issue like communication, we'll look back at what we've seen at other organizations … and give them some answers and some solutions to that," Johnson said.
Johnson defines alignment as "the strength of harmony between strategy, structure and culture" in an organization.
"If your people are engaged in the work they're doing but the work they're doing is not aligned with the mission and the vision, you're losing productivity," he said.
Johnson has an MBA from the University of St. Thomas and a marketing degree from Drake University.
Q: Is there a common thread in what causes misalignment within organizations?
A: Most misalignment is rooted in communication and leadership. Many leaders are smart folks, and many times that's debilitating. When somebody asks you a question you feel compelled to answer. The bad news with that is that it does not foster critical thinking and it doesn't help drive empowerment.
Q: Why did you begin developing what became Orgametrics during your corporate career?
A: It was more and more difficult to get a sense of where people were relative to visions and mission and how they felt about it and ultimately if they saw the correlation between mission, vision, strategic plan and their day-to-day tasks. If there's a huge disconnect it's up to the leaders and managers to synthesize that and recognize the performance of those who are able to meet the challenges."
Q: Why should alignment matter to an organization?
A: Getting an organization aligned around mission, vision and structure builds to a crescendo. Then the results are fantastic. I've seen organizations to some pretty magical things.