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Cross-functional team building

Modern teamwork often demands that we look beyond our job titles and functional roles to compete and succeed together

Stove piped functions and tribal competition between functional teams can waste time, energy and resources within big organisations whilst lowering organizational intelligence.

If people can develop their individual and collective behavior, and cultural norms, to embrace “bigger picture” thinking, then some serious competitive advantages can be leveraged.

Classic team building activities are often competitive in nature and may serve only to re-enforce competitive rather than collaborative behaviours. Examples such as Amazing Races come to mind.

Within each individual team there may of course be good collaboration, but if there is no common focus and collective outcome then little is achieved to enhance cross-functional collaboration between teams.

We therefore get great results from truly cross-functional experiential team building challenges and business game formats such as Picture Perfect, Operation Rollerball and Battlespace.

These formats require genuine engagement and collaboration between different functional areas to achieve a positive and unified outcome for all.

When we add Belbin profiles and team reports to one of these activity formats we can delve even deeper into the behavioural strengths and weaknesses that underpin people’s ability to actually work cross-functionally.

When data from Belbin profiles is combined into team and group reports, you can also obtain a nice cultural snapshot of the similarities and differences between functional teams. This often helps get the bottom of why some teams approach collaboration with other teams the way that they do.

From good sophisticated activity content combined with behavioural profiles, we can genuinely help clients achieve lasting outcomes for better cross-functional awareness and collaboration.

The trick is to look beyond stand-alone events, and to see them needed to be a well-chosen step in a more strategic process.

A team building activity can of course have great value, but this value can be tremendously enhanced by good diagnostics pre event, clear links to real world insights during, and of course targeted follow though based on the Belbin behavioural profiles.

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