The largest problem I see international companies struggle with is the fact that there is poor communication between different divisions in the company. This means that marketing tries to sell products that R&D cannot develop, or makes promises to develop products significantly sooner than possible. Cross-functional teams can consist between departments such as Human Resources, Production, Operations, Finance, Marketing, Research and Development, and IT. In a well run company all of these aspects work together in order to better themselves and their fellow coworkers.
The cross-functional teams we structure our business partners with always serve to be self sustaining and self directed teams with important milestones, tasks, and responsibilities. Each department will be called upon for specific input and expertise in order to organically grow business. The benefit of assigning a task to a team which consists of multiple different backgrounds is the elevated level of creativity and out of the box thinking that a group unfamiliar with the problem may have. The largest success we have witnessed was at a window contractor company, when one of the IT members suggested that the window be made with sound proof insulation inside the frame instead of outside of it. This type of thinking was lacking from our product engineers and within a month that idea was a complete slam dunk for the company and the entire team.
When we at Global Telecom set up and practice something that our competitors do not. We restructure companies to create and value cross-functional interactions which include competitive, cooperative, and team building. While many other companies think that competition between departments create negative energy, we find the opposite. We find that healthy competition promotes communication between departments with much higher success than any other technique available.
Dialing into the deeper problems that many companies lack is that there is not a clear decision making tree. This means that when a customer calls, and a solution is proposed, no one (or in many cases too many people answer that call) is directly responsible for the outcome. We at Global Telecom, believe that upper management is responsible for coaching, mentoring, and guiding their team to success. Leaders need to be responsible for directing team members across departments such as IT, Marketing, and Production (to name a few), to complete tasks that are value added.
- Dial a code: How does your team communicate with each other and across departments. Who are you going to call?!
- Know who is responsible for each goal
- Communicate goals top down
- Healthy competition never hurt.