Advantages of a Highly Cross-Functional Organization
The way businesses operate is changing rapidly. They now require a lot of different skills they never needed before. With the advancement of digital transformation, competitors stronger than ever, the old methods no longer viable.
Companies are now training people in ways they never did before. It’s vital people get trained and into their roles faster and more efficiently than ever. Gone are the days of silos and separate departments with separate functions.
Cross Team Collaboration
This method of training and development is making its way into more and more businesses. This is a collaboration of all people and sharing and learning together and with each other.
Combining all the knowledge, skills, experiences and information from all sectors of the organization to form a better team. It gets people all the information they need and it happens much faster.
Online collaboration opens the gates to learning and training a whole new way. With the emerging technology taking over many businesses, they need new and faster ways to stay competitive.
Advantages of Cross-Functional Organizations
Cross-team collaboration is essential in role-playing. Trying out new ideas, being open to new concepts and exploring them for the best results.
1. Developing Leadership Skills
Participating in cross-functionality allows everyone to try out their leadership skills. These skills are vital for moving up in business when the senior level of management leaves. The best way to hone these skills is by doing. Practicing in a situation where there are results yet without risk takes the fear out of making hard decisions.
You are working with various teams from different areas of business so you get to be put into leadership roles to lead the team. It’s an invaluable experience to lead a team, get input, make decisions and see the results.
2. Learn all Aspects of the Business
When all people from all sections of business come together, the roles become very clear. People get to participate in all other areas of employment to gain better insight into what other people do and how it all comes together for the common goal of the company.
You gain much appreciation for the roles of others and for your own role. It opens your mind to the role you play and how you and everyone contributes to the company and its functions.
3. Open Communication
Collaboration is working together, talking, solving problems, overcoming barriers and breaking down silos. Communication is one of the most important parts of the business and for its continued health and success.
This means sharing ideas, actively listening to other people’s ideas and encouraging dialog and creativity. It’s the best way to draw from the diversity of the group and find a common ground.
It also involves making decisions and discussing the results of those choices. Getting feedback for bad decisions in a safe environment is the best learning method new leaders can get. They learn from the mistakes and get constructive feedback on how to improve.
4. Team Building and Collaboration
Eliminating silos in any organization means open sharing of all information. People working in their own bubble miss much of what is happening and tend to focus on what is best for them, not others or the organization overall.
When people from the all the other departments come together to work on a project, they have to collaborate and share their ideas and communicate. That builds trust, open dialog and that is what a strong team is all about.
It’s moving out of your silo and into a group formation where there are only one goal and the task of getting there the best way possible. A strong team looks past their own hang-ups and embraces the diversity of the entire group.
5. Become Better Teachers
When people learn to communicate, work together, share information and have open honest dialog, they take those skills to the next generation. These skills are continually built up and honed and then the leaders can pass on these skills to the new managers in training.
A Stronger Tomorrow
When people learn to come together and work towards the same goal, solve problems together and communicate and share, it makes a stronger team. That team will be more engaged, more productive and efficient.
It also makes the work more interesting, because they have a better understanding of how it all falls into place. They see the bigger picture, which allows them to see the end, how to get there and everyone’s part in the arrival.
Gone are the days of ‘not my job mentality’. Companies need to move toward the same goal as a team. Each person must have a clear understanding of their role and how it fits in with the rest of the team.
Cross-functional training encourages a collaborative environment and people must be engaged and rewarded for participation. There is an atmosphere of friendly competition and a safe environment to take risks with only learning as the outcome.
Competition breeds creativity and innovation. It builds trust and helps clarify the overall goal and those of the individuals. People need to see how their personal goals fit into the big picture and adjust them accordingly.
People learn much faster and retain more information when they are able to participate and see the real results. Talking about the outcomes and having an opportunity to try again is a luxury older leaders never had.
There is also the advantage of watching your team members tackle the same problem in their own fashion for more insight and growth for all the participants.
People need to all be speaking the same language with the company and all following the same idea and path. The opportunity to learn from mistakes where you take ownership and learn from that without repercussions is invaluable for training and for learning.
Needless to say (as always), I’m a big believer in using custom business simulations within training when trying implementing strategic acceleration. These tools are incredibly effective at aligning mindsets and skills.
A cross-functional organization means everyone gets to participate in all aspects of the business for better and faster learning and success. People will recognize the hard work of others and how it relates to their role.