Business Innovation Benefits of Cross-Functional Collaboration
Workplace culture is the top priority of any corporation looking to strike the benefits of business innovation. When your company has a good quality workplace culture, you’re highly likely to attract the most talented employees and outperform the competition. And it all stems from business innovation.
So, how can you take advantage of this “business innovation” we speak of? Use your company’s existing talent. Use your subject matter experts (SMEs). Use the people who are best for the job even if they’re not in the same business unit. By bridging team members across various departments with different skill sets, you’re not just achieving company goals, you’re optimizing their potential
Working together to solve everyday problems encourages teams to find more innovative, comprehensive solutions than they otherwise would individually. Cross-functional collaboration is one of the primary business innovation benefits, and we’ll tell you why.
How is Business Innovation Affected by Cross-Functional Culture?
Organizations have long recognized business innovation but have only recently discovered just how beneficial it is. Arranging people with different expertise and capabilities in a purpose-driven culture has become a primary method for innovative problem-solving, and the idea of cross-functional collaboration is more common and more necessary as the age of information progresses.
This method is used to accelerate and scale innovation purposefully. Cloud computing, collaboration tools, and other advancing technologies help facilitate teaming at scale and across distances. It also affects innovation in your organization by:
- Building a broader environment of openness
- Encouraging diversity and inclusion
- Providing transparency and clarity
- Inviting challenges and feedback
And many other key ingredients to successful innovation in the workplace. When all of this comes together into one final “product,” companies realize a multitude of business innovation benefits, putting cross-functional collaboration at the top of their to-do list. We don't mean like that to-do list of house chores you have been putting off for six months (Would you fix that door handle already!) This to-do list is important.
5 Business Innovation Benefits of Cross-Functional Collaboration
The success of cross-functional collaboration depends on a variety of factors, but one thing remains the same—the benefits to the organizations. Check out the following compelling business innovation benefits for a closer look.
1. Develops a United Culture
Culture, culture, culture! We will keep repeating it no matter how annoying it may get because it is that important. There is no such thing as innovation and all the glorious benefits it brings if your company's culture sucks. But since we're giving you the benefits of business innovation, let's switch to a more positive tone.
This first item on our list kind of works both ways, or more so in a cycle. Your company must encourage the initial collaboration and do so continuously for it to stay consistent. With that, the proverbial floodgates of innovation open.
2. Fosters Employee Engagement
Lack of employee engagement is a significant issue in corporations everywhere—but it doesn’t have to be. Often, employees feel that there's no incentive to bother working towards company goals if they don't recognize their efforts. Understandable. Everyone needs the nod of approval here and there for some encouragement.
While collaboration isn’t the only solution to poor engagement, employees working together are 64% more likely to complete tasks than those working alone, leading to higher business success rates. Cross-functional collaboration thrives off employee engagement, among other things, and can be considered a large-scale strategy to draw teams of all levels together in a supportive, encouraging environment. It is exactly this environment that innovation flourishes.
3. Builds and Develops Leadership Skills
One of the main ideas of collaboration is that everyone shares control of the innovation processes. However, there does have to be a leader(s) to help manage everything. But considering business innovation and collaboration is meant to encompass the efforts of the entire corporation, it only makes sense for the leadership roles to be shared as well.
The C-suite isn't necessarily leading the revolution, which makes it easy to swap out different team members in the leadership role. It may sound nerve-wracking to hand over that responsibility, but you'd be surprised at how well someone may perform. And to think, you may have never known if you hadn't given them a chance.
A different leader can bring something entirely new to the table that may be the missing piece. First, of course, they'll need to learn what it takes to be a leader in the sense of attitude and processes. They'll learn how to keep a positive environment and help employees work together toward the bigger picture. It's a good challenge and an excellent opportunity to develop valuable skills in time management, decision-making, conflict resolution, to name a few. It takes a special finesse to be a leader.
4. Increases Productivity
Each department in a company is well aware of the self-inflicted setbacks. Whether it’s poor communication (often the case), leadership hogs, close-mindedness to change, whatever it is, it’s a weakness and roadblock. However, they also know what areas are flourishing. That's the golden goose—knowledge, and insight. No one person in an entire company knows everything about everything—even if they think they do and keeping departments disconnected won't help.
Collaboration within your company drives mutual knowledge and insight into which areas need improvement and which are crushing goal after goal. Not only does shared knowledge improve culture, but it improves productivity. With everyone putting their skills to use, solutions will rise faster than ever. Plus, it can help your company:
- Boost sales
- Save time
- Reduce costs
5. Drives Business Innovation
New ideas are sparking left and right when you have nearly an entire corporation being innovative. They become more and more refined as team members and leaders share feedback and suggestions, all to develop the best ideas your company needs to gain a competitive advantage. Plus, shared decision-making, regular team building, and working towards a common goal improve communication skills throughout every layer of your business.
Note: 90% of employees in a company that fails to implement successful cross-functional collaboration believed decision-makers should seek other opinions before making a final decision.
While your organization switches to a cross-functional collaborative strategy, it's essential to follow best practices for sustainable innovation, either suggested or generated by your leaders. Then, as your processes improve and your benefits stack up, you'll be even more driven to maintain the system.
To help you make a collaborative team, consider following these best practices.
- Identify who has the strongest leadership skills.
- Evaluate all departments’ capabilities.
- Invest in a collaboration software.
- Encourage cooperation and engagement.
- Ensure goals are mutually supported.
rready Makes Business Innovation Simple
rready has been helping corporations harness skill sets from every department through successful collaboration for over a decade. Our software and team of experts will help you start and grow your transformation strategies so your organization can uncover all the business innovation benefits possible. Together we can build a strong, lasting cultural change for your business, bottom-up. Don’t wait for the opportunity to pass you by. Act now and contact us today.Get started today