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Top Tips for Leading Cross-functional Teams

Like most global companies, Intermedia has many departments spanning operations, sales, marketing, engineering, finance, and so on. We have leaders in each of those groups that manage smaller groups within those organizations. No matter the department, we all strive to deliver the highest-level product experience to our customers and partners.

How cross-functional teams come together is usually highly indicative of success in this area, along with many others. Simply put, coordination matters, and issues will commonly result when this process is broken. To help ensure your cross-functional communication efforts are as effective as possible, our COO, Jonathan McCormick shares his thoughts on making these relationships as productive and collaborative as possible:

How do you enable the success of cross-functional and/or remote teams?

It’s not your job to guarantee your employees’ success. It’s your job to support them and lead them to success. It’s your job to be transparent about how you are doing that. Make it clear to individuals what the goals are and what success looks like in their role. Then, deliver timely coaching along the way. It’s their job to bring their “A game”.

What is your advice regarding leading across cross-functional teams?

Do your best to know all the roles within your organization inside and out. This way, you can more easily discern if what is read in a proposed spreadsheet can realistically be put into practice. To understand what is going on and what everyone needs to be a successful contributor, check your ego at the door, and be willing to listen and be taught. This team was picked for a reason, so rely on them to inform you. Secondly, don’t forget to take care of yourself. By prioritizing your own health and motivation, you can better succeed in leading others and helping them find balance and fulfillment in what they do as well.

What’s one red flag that you look to squash among teams when you identify it?

Having a negative personality on your team can be an awful thing. It can quickly drain team morale, even if that negative team member has the best of intentions. It doesn’t matter how talented that person is – the negativity isn’t worth it. Pick team members based on their willingness to lead, motivation and how they foster a level of natural respect for the people who work with them. Don’t worry if you feel your best prospect isn’t quite ready. If they’re a good candidate, they’ll be eager to learn and be coached. It’s the person’s personality you can’t change.


Share your cross-functional team collaboration tips with us on Twitter @Intermedia_net using the hashtag #TeamCollaboration

About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia