Interdependence at Work

While working with an organization recently, we discovered that the departments responsible for driving the business were told not to work collaboratively with the other departments.

The leader of the organization, who we’ll call Anton, believed that there should be competition between departments so his managers would be “scrappy” and work hard for results.

When we met with Anton, we asked him about his expectations of the management team. He said he expected them to meet their goals – regardless of departmental interactions.

As we discussed his ideas, it became clear that he had not thought through the consequences of the “everyone for themselves” culture he had created over the years. And, he didn’t understand why this culture wasn’t bringing more success to the company.

In all business, there is a certain amount of
collaboration necessary between departments
in order to foster organizational results.

Sales can’t succeed if production isn’t making product, finance can’t succeed if sales isn’t shipping orders, etc. Instead of fighting with others to make those things happen, people need to work collaboratively, and with an awareness of others in the organization in order to elevate one another’s success and to create the results they all want – together.

Each department should be striving to hit their goals, but not at the expense of the other departments.

When we shared this with Anton, he was wary at first; but when he met with his HR leader, he was surprised to hear that the main reason managers communicated for leaving the company was that they didn’t feel supported to succeed.

It’s erosive to be on a team
where teamwork isn’t valued!

This week, think about how your role is interdependent with the work of your colleagues and see if you can find ways to support one another in reaching your goals and their goals.

Sometimes goals between departments may be at odds, so we’d recommend looking at the challenges from a higher level and reviewing the bigger company goals to ensure that there is the right amount of tension and collaboration to create success – as a whole.

We’re rooting for you!

If you want help assessing the strength
of your managers and building strong
management teams, we can help.

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