Organizations won’t be successful with a cross-functional team approach if departments within the organization have been overly isolated or are mired in an “us versus them” mindset.
What can a leader do to build synergy in these types of dysfunctional cross-functional team situations?
1. Start by making first-hand observations. Walk around the organization and ask people how things are going; seek their input on the issue at hand. Visible leadership (when employees can SEE leaders walking around and talking to folks) builds morale and lets people know that someone cares about what they’re doing and thinking.
2. Build bridges between roles and job functions. Encourage everyone to look beyond their immediate surroundings and give them opportunities to form productive working relationships with people in other departments. A beyond-the-barriers mindset ensures useful information is shared and not kept in “silos”. (more…)