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The UNITE Team Alignment Model

The UNITE Team Alignment model visually demonstrates different ways of creating alignment in a team and their implications.

Understand how to model high performance teams

Learn how to create alignment while still allowing autonomy

Determine the maturity of your team!

What the download contains

  • The UNITE Team Alignment Model
  • The UNITE principles of working together
  • The UNITE Team Health Check
  • The implication of the paradigm and mindset shift on team structure and language
  • The UNITE overview of evolutionary developments across people, culture, organizations & economy
  • The UNITE Culture Canvas empty/with definitions ready for your workshop. The canvas comes both in a core and a conextualized version
What People Are Saying

Why we use it:

In an innovation team, we want everyone to be moving the project forward. Still, at the same time, the freedom and autonomy necessary for innovation require that individuals are not micromanaged (!).
So how can we balance these two principles? This model shows us how.


When we think about how to make progress towards a goal, there are two factors to consider, alignment and autonomy. When we have low autonomy and low alignment, it results in micromanaging. Individuals neither have the freedom to work independently nor do they understand the purpose behind the work they do. Obviously, this is not going to work to produce true innovation. However, you can’t just boost one of the two factors. Autonomy without alignment leads to chaos. Everyone is doing their own thing, and some of those things may be productive, but they do not lead to a collective move forward. Similarly, if we increase alignment but not autonomy, we end up with a hierarchical command structure. Everyone understands what is being done and why, but there is not enough individual autonomy to think of new and different ways of achieving the same goal. When you increase autonomy and alignment, however, a self-organizing group forms that understands the overall goal and is enabled to work independently and creatively to achieve that very goal.

What is the goal of the model?

Balancing freedom and progress. When we structure a team around a clear purpose and values, we can ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction without yoking them to a hierarchical model that stifles their creativity.



Related tools
& models

The following tools and models support the one you are exploring. If you’re ready to go further, check them out. Download the models below and continue your journey …

Related tools & models


The following tools and models support the one you are exploring. If you’re ready to go further, check them out., download the models below and continue your journey …


Related categories

Explore the other models in the category you started with or take a look at these related categories. There is no right way to use these tools. Follow the path that works best for you and your team.

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The Origin of this Model:
» How to Create Innovation «

How to Create Innovation is a practical, comprehensive, OpenSource guide for successful corporate innovation. The UNITE initiative and movement, spearheaded by Stefan F. Dieffenbacher and Caroline Hüttinger and supported by a diverse team of industry leaders and innovation researchers, aims to spark a revolution in global innovation and transformation.


How to CREATE INNOVATION is a workbook for students, innovators, designers, and government and corporate leaders who appreciate and are curious about emerging technologies and the accelerating pace of innovation. It challenges the status quo and supports the development of the mindset, beliefs and strategies necessary for the next stage of business evolution. Leverage the UNITE innovation framework to conceptualize and build the future of your business.

Benefit from Digital
Leaderships’ experience

Digital Leadership is a strategy-execution firm built on strong and innovative values. We support our customers in strategizing, building and securing their future through the creation of fully digitally enabled, and extraordinarily successful, products and businesses. Our agile, lean, fast-track business setup, coupled with access to an extensive pool of highly specialized and trusted resources (customized for each customer’s journey), allows for ideating and building in an effective and meaningful way.

Shared goals are the cornerstone of our customer approach. To date, our team has successfully led 74 projects with numerous global players across all industry sectors, ranging from $50,000 projects to $100 million ones. But helping our customers’ build their futures is not enough. We are committed to changing the world through the sharing of powerful innovation and transformation practices. Join the UNITE movement and help us start an innovation revolution.
Stefan F. Dieffenbacher
Founder & Managing Director of Digital Leadership

»We build digital winners.
It's what we are made for. Let's create winning digital businesses – together. And, at the same time, let’s create a world worth living in.«


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