United Teams Win!
Uniting People in Businesses
People cooperating to achieve a goal win over people trying independently
People Naturally Group Together and Cooperate
DeltaNet helps clients unite people assigned to work in isolated functional units into cross-functional teams. Winning businesses deploy those cross-functional teams on critical missions like:
- Strengthen current businesses
- Build new businesses or important new additions to current businesses
- Capture the dominant share of a class of customers
- Understand customers' needs and create significant new-product programs to satisfy the most important of those needs
- Win customers from their best competitors
Two Kinds of Uniting
Uniting people into independent functional units serves the needs of business managers. It fosters order and control. Every business does it.
Uniting people into cross-functional, cross-functional, interdependent teams serves the customers. It fosters learning and winning. Few businesses do it.
To Unite or Not to Unite?
The issue is not whether or not to unite people. People naturally unite. People are social animals. People will unite around anything from a rock band to waging war against another nation.
Employees in your business organization are people, too. They will unite around their common interests just like people do outside your business. Of great importance is the realization that people in your business will naturally unite within their functional units, with people doing similar work striving for similar goals. They will just as naturally unite against other functional units doing different work striving for different goals.
Uniting Against Common Enemies
Uniting around similar interests is one thing, but uniting against something or someone creates stronger groups faster. The common enemy binds people together far more strongly than the common good.
In your organization, that means workers will unite against management, people on one product line will unite against those on other product lines, and all the primary functional departments will unite against each other.
The Narcissism of Small Differences
Uniting against others within the same company is normal human behavior. Sigmund Freud referred to it as the "narcissism of small differences". It is natural for similar people, and especially similar groups of people, to exaggerate otherwise superficially minor differences to clearly differentiate "us" from "them". The more alike the groups, the more they will seek ways to differentiate from each other.
Hierarchies Design This In!
By design, hierarchies are organizations of similar groups making their small differences as significant as possible. The stronger the hierarchy, the stronger will be the differentiation among groups in the company. Tightening up the rules, making individual group responsibilities clearer, and eliminating overlapping responsibilities only increases the effects of the narcissism of small differences.
Look Outside the Business
The way to get people in the hierarchy to become more interdependent across internal organizational boundaries is to focus people's propensity to unite on something outside the hierarchy. With a some training and coaching, people will unite around a common interest in their customers, or against their competitors.
Shift People's Interests Outside
It's mainly a matter of substitution. We can help people in your business substitute a common interest in their customers for their common interests in their functional unit, product line, technical discipline, etc. We can help them substitute the competitors for other departments and for management, from which they would otherwise seek to differentiate themselves.
It may sound simple, but the existing hierarchical organization will vigorously defend the status quo. DeltaNet offers training, coaching, and consulting services to help organizations unite people into cross-functional, cross-cultural teams with sufficient strength to overcome the internal defenses against changes of all kinds.
Expect to Win!
The more the members of your organization learn about their customers, and the more they learn about their competitors, the more likely they are to find causes that will unite them. It will almost surely not be an internal cause. The cause must lie outside the organization to unite the people inside the organization.
Teams Within the Hierarchy
Cross-functional teams embedded in the hierarchical organization produce the best overall results. When teams do the things that teams do well - unite around causes and fight passionately to win - it frees the hierarchy to do what hierarchies do well - efficiently run an orderly business operation.
Hierarchies are the best way to run an orderly and efficient financial organization and to create a secure environment in which people in the organization can collaborate to win. The combination is hard to beat.