Traditionally, organisations worked in siloed functions, which was clunky and challenging, cross-functional alignment was difficult to achieve. But when a team works together, they can accomplish remarkable things.
A team that is perfectly aligned gives an organisation a real boost. A team that works together can adopt change quickly; they can work in a fast-paced environment. And as we know, change is inevitable.
If there is cross-functional misalignment or your alignment is off, you could find yourself slipping off course. With rigid functional lines, your team can quickly lose sight of the overall priorities and strategic agenda. Key projects and priorities may be impacted.
Breaking out of silos
Cross-functional alignment doesn’t necessarily refer to projects. We are looking at how people from different functions like sales, marketing, HR, engineering or finance can work together on a day to day basis to achieve the same objective.
Unfortunately, corporate culture separates different functions into teams or silos. Getting people to break out of the silos is necessary to create a culture of alignment. It’s not an easy process; teams have very different responsibilities and procedures. They may have conflicting priorities. And collaboration may not come quickly to them.
To bring the teams closer together; share upcoming work, have learning opportunities for each team. Do team demonstrations where each team gets to show the others their work.
Constant and consistent communication is critical to breaking out of silos. Look at how you communicate internally with other functions. Do you meet with them regularly or do you communicate via email? Using a more collaborative communication style will allow people from different functions to work together.
We regularly see examples of organisations, business units and teams that are not fully maximising the talents, skills and abilities of their people. This is so common that many of our clients are at a point where they are willing to accept that this is the way things are.
Yet we see that using the Growth Pit Stop methodology allows people in teams to engage in a process known as ‘cognitive reframing’ that allows them to begin challenging that idea at both a personal and team level. It also has a way of analysing the potential savings to be realised by cutting unnecessary internal meetings and other forms of collaboration waste.
Measuring these three areas and learning where you can improve will have an impact on performance, innovation and growth of your business. It will also have an effect on engagement, growth and well-being of the individuals.