Our Experts | Alex Hettinger, Anne Corall, Frank Fauskey, and Adam Metz
When you think networking, you probably think about meeting people outside of your organization. What can you learn from them? How can you leverage each other? You get the picture.
But have you ever stopped to think about what you could learn from the other people in your company? Not the guy next to you, or even your boss. More like that one quiet guy from the IT team, the new girl in sales or a different team lead.
First and foremost: No cross-team communication = disorganization.
Recently, our organization started a small cross-department learning development group for experience sharing as it relates to leadership development. All of us who are listed above as authors on this article have come together to share what we’ve learned so far with the rest of the world.
First and foremost: No cross-team communication = disorganization. No one knows what anyone else is working on. Without cross-team communication, opportunities to learn and grow are missed. We’ve learned to value co-workers beyond our normal circles and to use them as resources. Ultimately we are working for the same company and and we can collectively contribute to company goals by communicating together.
So let’s get to the specifics of how this all plays out. Below you’ll find 5 new efficiencies that blossom with cross-department communication.
- You’ll start to see the bigger picture. Often we’re all so focused on our daily to-do list that we forget about the rest of the organization. What are your company’s business goals? What’s going on in another department? Once you start to take a step back from your individual job, you’ll have a better understanding of the company as a whole and how the pieces fit together.
- You can experience share with people who know your business. At a traditional networking event, you might be in a room full of people who are HR specialists for a hundred or more different companies. While you all share similar job duties and probably similar challenges, your companies likely have different processes and goals. You can learn a lot from these people, but sometimes we overlook the opportunity to learn from other people in our company too. There’s a lot you can learn from people who simply have a different perspective and experience at your company.
- You can borrow best practices. When it comes to project management, team structure or leadership challenges, there’s a good chance someone else in your company has already figured out a solution. Sure, you could do some research on your own to find a new project management software, but if someone else at your organization has already done so, why reinvent the wheel?
- You’ll know who the subject matter experts are to ask for help. Getting to know the other people at your organization on both a personal and professional level will make it easier to know who the subject matter experts are to help finishing up a project. You’ll also find more opportunities to help others and provide your own expertise to those around you once a pattern of cross-team communication has developed.
- You’ll feel a new level of connectedness. Getting to know those outside of your direct circle ensures you’ll know people in all departments. Cross-department communication is a huge cultural driver when it comes to developing new relationships that wouldn’t otherwise exist within your organization.
Still not convinced of the value of all this open, cross-department talk? The improved efficiency that comes from leveraging relationships within your organization will leave you with more time to drive direct results, innovation, and improvements.