A few weeks ago, my mom was in a fender bender. (She's fine.) Her car had light damage to the front bumper and not much else. She took it to the repair shop and had it fixed, and then immediately took it to the tire shop to have her tires aligned, in case the impact had knocked her tires out of whack. (Tire alignment adjusts the suspension in your car to make sure your tires are making proper contact with the road.)
I've been thinking about that process ever since, especially how it relates to running a business. Unless you've been in an accident or hit a curb or something, it's recommended you get a tire alignment every two or three years. I think the same is true for a business alignment. If things have been running smoothly, and you haven't hit any potholes, a regularly-scheduled re-alignment of your business should suffice. Every year, you look at your strategy, tactics, goals, values, and make sure they are aligned, so you have maximum rubber on the road, and you are moving ahead as quickly and efficiently as possible, and your progress isn't wearing out any parts of the business. (Including you.)
But if you hit a business pothole, or crash headlong into an issue or disaster, a re-alignment is absolutely critical. Once you are through the trauma, and repairs have been made to get the business running again, it's time to re-align all the moving parts. Look at your goals, your strategy, your tactics and your values to make sure they are all in sync with the new organization that emerged from the repair shop. If they aren't, make adjustments. Remember, you want maximum rubber on the road, and that can't happen if one of your wheels is pointed left and another is tilted right.