Do big! The importance of cross-organizational leadership
Today, we're diving into a crucial topic that can make a real difference in modern businesses - cross-organizational leadership. It's all about having the finesse to work across different departments and teams, which is becoming increasingly important in today's dynamic world. In the past, companies used to focus mainly on technical expertise and whether you could write good code. They'd ask, "Are you super smart?" and "How long have you been here?" but often overlooked the essential aspect of being able to communicate effectively and work well with others.
Thankfully, things have started to change, and some managers have come to recognize the value of high-level individual contributors who possess those essential cross-organizational skills. And guess what? These skills can actually be taught! Now, here's where it gets interesting. Some companies try to bridge the organizational gaps by bringing in high-paid consultants. While they may provide valuable insights, they lack the long-term commitment and connection with the company's people. On the other hand, what works better is having someone within the company - a high-valued individual contributor - take on that role. They already know the ins and outs, have the credibility, and can build those essential relationships for the long haul.
Let's talk about the future - innovation and digital transformation. Being agile is the name of the game! To thrive, companies need folks who can lead initiatives across teams. Silos are a thing of the past; we need people who can collaborate, communicate, and make things happen!
Picture this: You're part of an A-Team, building something fantastic. As a junior employee, you might be handling small tasks. But if you start honing your cross-organizational skills early on, you'll be ready to take on more significant responsibilities as you climb the career ladder. The problem is, many people get promoted without developing these skills. They end up stifling innovation because they can't collaborate effectively with others. It's like, "Hey, I'm responsible for this piece of the business, and that's all I care about." But what if we widen that lens and see how it fits into the bigger picture?
As an individual contributor, there are several proactive steps you can take to build your cross-organizational leadership skills and set yourself apart in the workplace. First and foremost, embrace opportunities for collaboration and seek out projects that involve working with colleagues from different departments or teams. Engage in open communication and actively listen to understand diverse perspectives. Take the initiative to participate in knowledge-sharing sessions or workshops that encourage cross-team exposure. Embrace a mindset of continuous learning, seeking out training programs or mentorship opportunities that focus on communication, empathy, and leadership. Additionally, consider shadowing colleagues from other departments to gain insights into their roles and challenges, fostering a deeper understanding of the organization as a whole. By demonstrating your ability to bridge gaps and work effectively with others, you'll be well on your way to becoming a valuable cross-organizational leader.
So, there you have it - the power of cross-organizational leadership. It's not just about coding or being a genius; it's about connecting with people, collaborating, and driving innovation.