What Business Target is your team trying to hit this year? Depending on where we sit around the business table, we all see the same things differently.
Across your company, each department is diligently aimed at hitting at least one key business target. Each department creates their own KPIs. Each department measures productivity, performance and outcomes differently.
In smaller businesses, your entire department may be you. Your colleague represents another job function, or “department.” Doing your job to the best of your ability – so you can keep that job – may be your motivating business target.
You all are convinced that your targeted efforts will keep your company financially solvent.
You and your colleagues in different departments are aiming at different business targets, with the sincere belief that you are all focused on the same business target. You and your colleagues may be using different strategies, processes, KPIs and units of measure to solve problems and produce profitable business outcomes.
The poop usually hits the fan in interdisciplinary meetings. Your data are incompatible with Their Data. Your methodologies aren’t appropriate for the scope of the problems they are trying to solve. Your insights aren’t relevant to what They are looking for.
The way you see things isn’t the way they see things at all.
On a daily basis, we all develop project-specific tunnel vision. It’s unavoidable. We are sincere in believing that we are doing our jobs. We all want to believe that we work hard, very hard, to make a difference to our company and our customers.
It’s an industrial-age, production-line mindset that keeps us all from learning how to collaborate cross-functionally.
It’s efficient. It’s precise. It’s measurable for those productivity and performance reviews.
This mindset may be holding you, and your company, back from moving forward.
Because everyone inevitably is focused on hitting different business targets for different reasons.
It may be a simple matter of identifying Communication as a critical business target rather than continuing to operate based on Assumptions and mis-assumptions.
This week, talk to one of your cross-functional colleagues. You know, Them. They work in the “other” department down the hall. They aren’t like you at all – or so you assume.
Grab some coffee. Talk about March Madness or the Cricket World Cup. Then ask them what business targets their department is taking aim at this year. And how they measure their success at hitting those business targets.
Your responses should make for some provocative, and collaborative, conversation.
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, is a business coach and management consultant. She remodels startups and small-to-medium size manufacturing and service companies experiencing unpredictable revenue streams and inconsistent growth and expansion initiatives.
Babette was named a Social Selling 2015 Top50 Influencer and a 2014 Top 50 Marketing & Sales Influencer. Babette’s blog won the 2014 Bronze Medal, Top Sales World. Babette’s book on horizontal business development and collaboration strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.