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The Challenge of Focusing Cross-Functional Management Teams

If the F1 car is a symbol of FOCUS, then the hierarchical organization with its functional silos and top down control is the opposite.

Different managers have their own priorities, strategies and agendas.  Operations is focused on operational issues, marketing on marketing issues, finance on financial governance control and so on.

 

At each level and within each function, business unit, or team  there are likely to be different (sometimes competing) priorities, targets, KPIs, strategies and goals.  

But how many of the priorities being worked on in silos are consistent with the overall goals for the organization and in particular with the organizations objectives for sustainable growth?

A proliferation of competing projects and priorities can divide attention, dissipate energies and squander resources. Are the teams in your organization pulling in different directions, suffering from internal politics and territorial disputes?

 

 

Maximizing success requires focusing or funneling the energies and efforts of managers and teams across the organization in a coherent and consistent direction.

Organizations begin to accelerate growth when they focus – when they turn their back on the scatter-gun approach.

 

Growth begins to accelerate when it becomes the focus of different managers, functions and teams – when projects, goals, plans and initiatives are focused on shared growth-related priorities.

Organizations reach a new level of performance when management teams focus on what matters most – that is on a shared set of priorities around growth.  This reflects a shared definition of winning or success that recognizes the ambitions of all managers.

That focus can’t be myopic however.  It has to look beyond this quarter and the next, to the requirements of success in the medium to longer term.

Keeping the focus on the key priorities for growth can be a challenge.  Management attention can easily be diverted from what is important by what is urgent – that is the day to day requirements of getting the job done.

Keeping a focus on key priorities is a test of both commitment, discipline and resilience of the management team.

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