Cross-functional Teams – Collaborating To Win

Cross-functional teams can help combat some of the most avoidable and redundant problems that arise within a global business organization; information silos. Silos are caused by insular management systems where internal business functions are not fully operating in tandem with one another, which results in information being sequestered within systems, as opposed to a free-flowing and collaborative environment that yields more efficiency and productivity. Utilizing cross-functional strategies can help organizations to break down these silos by inspiring osmosis of ideas and innovation.

Cross-functional collaboration attempts to bring people from different business function departments and with varying skill sets together to achieve a common goal. This unique cross-processing of individuals and ideas introduces new perspectives and advanced solutions to problems. Some of the benefits of introducing cross-functional teams within the workplace are:

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  • Cross-functional teams create a culture of collaboration – While a lot of companies swear by the importance of teamwork, many of them in effect operate within information silos, with minimal communication across departments. Cross-functional teamwork attempts to remedy this by developing a collaborative culture that engenders shared decision-making and improved communication skills.
  • Cross-functional teamwork encourages employee development – With everyone bringing in their expertise to the table, such an exercise enables team members to learn about the numerous tools that other departments employ and how they could benefit from adapting them into their own work.
  • Cross-functional teams develop leadership skills – One of the unique advantages of cross-functional methodologies is the chance to allow different team members to be in leadership positions. In such collaborations, the usual executive isn’t always the one leading the group and that opens the team to more diverse vision and a new energy.
  • Cross-functionality enhances productivity – As every team member is cognizant of their team’s limitations and barriers, they are also aware of the areas that they excel in. Cross-functional teams enable each department to play to their strengths while collaborating towards a shared goal. Utilizing the best practices from different departments allows a team to benefit from the collective knowledge of the entire group and enhance productivity.
  • Cross-functional systems keep work interesting – No matter how stimulating a work environment is things tend to get stale at any company. And employees who get bored or dissatisfied by their jobs are likely to leave for more interesting work environments. Cross-functional teams attempt to keep things exciting by allowing ideas and inspiration to be shared across teams that energizes the members and helps them to think more creatively amid a new group of co-workers.

While cross-functionality comes with its own set of challenges, any responsible cross-functional central response team ensures that each task builds in tandem with, and on top of, the value generated in other tasks. At a time like this when the productivity and efficiency of an organization are already hampered by the fallout of the pandemic, employing cross-functional teams is more of a necessity than a luxury.


  • “TOGETHER MAKES BETTER – How To Drive Cross-Function Collaboration” by Nigel Stacey, Raghav Narsalay, and Aarohi Sen for Accenture
  • “6 Benefits Of A Cross-Functional Team” by Matthew O’Neill on August 29, 2018

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