Optimizing cross-functional cooperation, releasing growth potential


In many companies, the different departments don´t really cooperate – rather, they work alongside each other and, sometimes, even against each other. This leads to delayed decision-making and slower processes, frustration, unnecessary discussions and conflicting signals sent to the market and customers. To sum up, problems involving cross-functional cooperation weaken a company´s competitive position and strangle its growth.

To eliminate these barriers, 1-2 day workshops with the people concerned have proved highly-effective in business practice. If the departments are big, representatives have to be selected who will speak for their colleagues. Per workshop, no more than 3 different departments should be represented, otherwise it may be difficult to manage complexity and to reach a consensus.

The workshop includes the following steps:

  1. First, people define how they perceive their department´s role in the company. In that context, a particular focus should be on how their department contributes to the organization´s value-creation process and to business success.
  2. Now the representatives of each department describe how they see the role of the other departments and how these, in their opinion, contribute to creating value and business success.
  3. In the third step, each department defines where it sees the ´critical´ areas in cross- functional cooperation and develops proposals for improvement.
  4. Lastly, the results will be presented to the plenum and solutions will be developed which are fully backed by all those involved and suitable to substantially improve future cross- functional cooperation.

Besides a clearly-structured approach, successful management of the group dynamics – which is always present – is the key success factor: Even though there may be tension among departments, all those participating should have a positive attitude and be prepared to interact with their colleagues in a constructive and solution-oriented way.


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