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Cross Functional Collaboration is Key to Successful Businesses

5 min read

Organizations Are Seeing Cross-Functional Teams Take Over Traditional Hierarchies.

Competitive environments are forcing companies to become more agile and adopt team structures to carry out their operations. And those stuck with traditional models are facing the risk of falling behind.

Research from Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends Report suggests a direct correlation between team-based work and performance. Organizations that have managed to execute this will have seen many benefits. Names include Cisco, Google, and others that are making networking and teaming a big part of their day to day processes.

An Example

Imagine the marketing team that creates communication and product materials for your website. To do this, the researcher or creator in the marketing team has to understand the product and the client very well to make sure the communication is on point. For this, marketing can get in touch with the call center professionals to understand what the customer’s real concerns are and put that into their communication strategy. They also get in touch with the product guys to understand the solutions against these specific concerns. They then share these materials with the sales teams who can further add more input and also distribute among current and potential clients.

Such an agile approach makes sure every department’s feedback is taken into consideration and teams work together to create the most effective outputs.

The Challenges

While the benefits of such cross-functional collaboration are many, many companies also struggle to break away from the traditional hierarchical models and adopt a more team-centric approach. Only 7 percent of respondents said they are very ready to execute this shift in Deloitte’s 2019 report. This is despite there being so many resources and ways to adopt agile and team-oriented tools.

The new learning is not just to introduce technologies at the workplace, but also change the way the organization itself adapts to these new introductions. From allocating budgets, training employees to rewarding workers, collaboration goes beyond just simple technology execution and has to do a lot with the culture and general functioning of an organization. Being agile in its truest sense would mean the flexibility to move businesses around as required, spin new businesses quickly and have the ability to start and stop projects at need.

All this requires adapting to a team-centric approach internally within the organization. The culture of the company has to rely on strategies that promote and help support team based collaboration on a regular basis. Teams also need to be set up and used to demonstrate new agile ways of working. Team leaders need to be assigned who are given the responsibility to ensure collaboration happens smoothly and as often as possible. Leaders also need to invest in the right collaborative technologies that help amplify these processes.

Start From The Top

In order to reap the benefits of a team-based approach, organizations need to take a look at how their C-suite functions. Most C-suites are not designed to operate in an integrated form. But collaboration within these executives should happen much more often than it currently does. 44 percent of respondents in the same report said that their C-suite executives operate totally independently or only occasionally partner on ad hoc initiatives.

Unless and until those at the top are not willing to make the shift, helping it percolate downwards will continue to be a challenge. Rewards and recognition initiatives should be focused on collaboration so that employees have an incentive to take that route.

Start Now

Start the team-based approach now if you want to stay in the competition for what’s coming. There are means you can adopt to examine team behavior and effectiveness. Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) can be one such tool.

The earlier organizations start, the easier the transition will be. Because team-based collaboration is going to be a major element of the future world of work.

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    Meet the author

    Keka Editorial Team

    A bunch of inspired, creative and ambitious youngsters- that’s Keka’s editorial team for you. We have a thirst to learn new subjects and curate diverse pieces for our readers. Our deep understanding and knowledge of Human Resources has enabled us to answer almost every question pertaining to this department. If not seen finding ways to simplify the HR world, they can be found striking conversations with anyone and everyone , petting dogs, obsessing over gadgets, or baking cakes.


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