Transformation to cross-functional teams

Transformation to cross-functional teams

It is already well-known that traditional structures are slowing companies down. The hierarchy is not efficient and not helping to build trust in the team. One of the new approaches to solve it is to restructure work places into cross-functional teams and have flat structures, where decisions can be made collaboratively and much quicker than in the traditional ones.

When employees collaborate, their loyalty is no longer belongs to only one team and it creates a shared mission across the company, which helps to achieve better results.

Employees can foster cross-functional team collaboration by empowering all the people to become leaders in their own jobs, in their functions, no matters what their job title is. Not every one can be a leader, but as many of them feel and act asthey are as more initiative and co-creation with other teams you will get.

Top-down management is still good for creating budget, but it doesn’t work when you need creativity and teams collaboration toward one major goal. So, you kind of convert your individual employees and their own goals into a team goals, where every single person contribute his/her part into a synergy.

When you want to connect with a colleague, begin by asking yourself how you can help them and serve their needs. Rather just demanding something from them, you’re offering your help, which gains respect and trust.

In other words, there is no more Alice from Finance or Any from Legal. There are individuals with their own feeling sand experiences, which will contribute into the common team results. Company and team missions are important tounite people around them because they feel their importance. Not only the mission, but also an ability to be heard is important, so people feel they are part of the team and their opinion is heard and considered as potentially valuable.

I would like to suggest you to read my post about celebrating wins and building trust in the team. There I perfectly show how hierarchy kills trust within the team. And also When people work with other people — what becomes the most important?

It is interesting that eliminate hierarchy isn’t something easy to do over night, because many people will fear to make a mistake and will try to find someone who make a decision. In our organisation we are trying to encourage people make decisions themselves and have no fear of mistake, but it comes not only with trust our people, but also with leadership work on understanding of how we can support them in decision-making process — give them an advice or helping to solve a puzzle. For doing it we go deeper into knowing strength and weaknesses of our people — not guessing what they do and what they don’t but asking them a honest question if they feel comfortable of making a decision or they want us to support them in it.

Yesterday I posted my experience of how to kill your startup and there are a few things directly related to this topic — like top down command or killing collaboration principles and team trust.

In my experience, many managers don’t leave a room for their employees to make mistakes. Managers often perceive errors as seriously grave, a mind-set that they then pass on to employees as well. Leaderships role is to support their teams and help them to recognise mistakes before they commit them.