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Setting a Strategic Goal of Cross-Functional Collaboration

Mini Case Study – Wrap Up

My readers who have been with me for a while may recall a three-part client case study I shared in 2016. In the case study, I shared the journey of a global Abudi Consulting Group client who was interested in increasing cross-functional and cross-geographical collaboration throughout the organization. You can read the first three parts here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

We have been working with the client since 2016 on a number of initiatives. This initiative was definitely a cultural change for the client. And we know that cultural change takes time and commitment.  Therefore, much time was spent on managing perceptions of change and restructuring the organization for success. We had set 16 months from the start of the initiative to achieve a goal of 80% of the organization regularly collaborating to achieve short- and long-term goals. At that time, we had achieved 70% (less than our goal) but four months after that, moved to 83%. Today, 100% of employees – at all levels and across the globe – collaborate to achieve the goals of the organization as well as departmental and divisional goals.

Below is a high level listing of what ACG has been doing in collaboration with the client to sustain cross-functional collaboration in the organization. Some of these efforts are no longer being done, others continue.

  • Quarterly evaluation of workflow processes to “tweak” as necessary (done for the first year, now evaluated as part of regular process review initiatives within the organization.)
  • Continued training as necessary, usually through virtual sessions and webinars. The collaboration portal includes training documentation (handouts/”step by step” documents) as well as webinars to listen to.
  • Additional features launched for the knowledge sharing/collaboration portal in late 2017. We didn’t want to overwhelm employees with technology and in particular additional features until they were comfortable with using the tools.

As part of onboarding of new employees, the CEO and other executive team members spend time discussing the value of collaboration and the need for a collaborative environment. We also have added a component on how to collaborate and use of the tools and technology for all new hires – at all levels. Much of the training is done by employees from throughout the organization.

As part of the annual strategic planning session, ACG surveys all employees – across the globe – to check in on this initiative and collaboration in general. We ask for stories, challenges, and best practices. We share this information with the executive team and Board of Directors and use this information to continue to refine collaboration within the organization.

We continue to be impressed and pleased with how effectively the organization has adopted the new culture of cross-functional and cross-geographical collaboration. Employees – at all levels – are seeing the value of collaboration and the organization as a whole has seen increased innovation, less problems and conflicts, quick time to market, and an increase in market share overall. And, the organization has been able to attract and retain top talent in a variety of roles.

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