One Goal: What the Chicago Blackhawks Taught Me About Organizational Alignment

As I write this, there are about four hours until the puck drops for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings. A friend of mine is taking me to the game, and the anticipation of experiencing my first NHL playoff game has my stomach in knots; I’ve never been more excited about anything in my life short of my children being born.

In a few hours, I’ll be standing in the United Center with 22,000 people who share my excitement and passion. Across the Chicago area and even the world, there are millions of Blackhawks fans who are feeling the butterflies right now. But why?  Why are we all united in this pursuit of a Stanley Cup?  Why do we stand with every member of this Blackhawks team, from the first line stars like Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews, to the unsung but equally loved fourth line guys like Michael Frolik?

For a Hawks fan, the answer is simple: One Goal.

“One Goal” is the mantra that we have all rallied around and believed in for the past five seasons. Marketing genius and (my label) Chicago legend John McDonough came to the Blackhawks after a long period of organizational decay, and faced a daunting task – bringing back fans such as myself who had left the team for dead during the later stages of the Bill Wirtz era.

Under McDonough, the Blackhawks introduced the “One Goal” campaign. The difference between “One Goal” and countless sports marketing slogans that never gained traction was the fact that it was just not clever words thrown together to sell season tickets; the message was simple and powerful, and from the players on the ice to the executives upstairs, the entire organization would align around the one goal of winning the Stanley Cup.

In 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks achieved their One Goal. They won the Stanley Cup. Yet in 2013, the “One Goal” campaign lives on. And it is bigger than ever, aligning not only the Blackhawks organization, but millions of Blackhawks fans in a single, laser-focused vision.

When I meet with new customers, the point I stress over and over is that when I work with any organization to help put a Salesforce system in place to achieve game changing business results, we have to align around a common vision. That vision could be creating a world class customer experience, it could be finding new ways to do business, or it could be something as simple as reengineering business processes to harness the power of Salesforce and the cloud.

It doesn’t matter what the vision is. What matters is that there is a vision, the vision can be articulated, and that we can align the entire team – from the corner office to the front line – around this common vision.

I work with every customer to find their “One Goal,” and it becomes our One Goal until we achieve it.

Mike Topalovich Salesforce Technical Architect in Chicago
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Mike Topalovich

Hi, I’m Mike. I help companies like yours do business in new ways with Salesforce.

I am a freelance Salesforce Developer, Architect, and CTO as well as a part time instructor for Salesforce University.

Connect with me today to discuss how I can become a part of your team on an ongoing retainer basis.

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