Because departments in a global organization worked competitively instead of cooperatively, follow-up was neglected, customers were confused, money was left on the table, and profits suffered.
Instead of overall business results, employees were measured on the performance of their department. Each department handled transactions independently. Lack of communication between departments led to a whole host of problems that put business performance at the national level significantly behind plan.
Although cross-functional teamwork was an important theme, how to do it was not clear. Even the senior leaders did not collaborate. Conflicts between groups that made up the national business team led to an inability to solve the problem.
To gather data and diagnose issues, OCAdvisors used cross-functional team performance assessments. Facilitated focus groups fleshed out the issues and opportunities related to cross-functional performance. The resulting information was used to design and deliver a week-long regional workshop that brought together leaders from all levels.
When they collectively understood the value of teamwork to close the performance gap, the national team pulled together and collaborated to:
- Identify specific challenges of cross-functional teamwork
- Build plans and processes for overcoming challenges
- Establish common cross-functional business objectives
- Define roles and accountabilities clearly
- Establish new work procedures to gain new business together
- Establish communication protocols to break out of information silos
- Close the cross-functional performance gaps identified in assessments and focus groups
- Create a repeatable process to sustain cross-functional teamwork
When team members showed their cards and shared their account information, one region uncovered 3 million that was left on the table and was able to close a deficit of 2.5 million. In addition:
- Planning for future strategizing changed to a cross-functional focus
- Sales blitzes were restructured from functional to cross-functional
- Opportunities in the marketplace were more readily identified and maximized
- Transparency increased across all functions, enabling the business to plan strategically as well as effectively manage and service accounts