Collaboration Across Boundaries

Teamwork across organizational boundaries is unnatural. The natural tendency of organizations is to optimize locally.
— Brad Power

Teamwork between Teams

An organization that is able to implement a great strategy, and respond to new challenges and opportunities in a smart, agile, learning-focused way, requires not just effective teamwork – it requires effective work between teams.

But, despite its importance, building the ability to work across boundaries – so there are high levels of collaboration between teams, functions, sites, and business units – is a neglected focus of many leaders.

It’s a costly mistake. Whether they’re functional, geographic, hierarchal, personality, or cultural, the way boundaries are managed can directly determine how well, or how poorly, your organization performs.

There is a pressing need, therefore, for people and teams who can build bridges, break down silos, design effective “baton passes” between people and groups; people who understand the nature of the work that needs to be carried out between people, functions, or groups, and know how to create effective working relationships and activities that allow for that work to happen.

Learning Objectives

Recognizing that one of the biggest barriers to performance in an organization is the inability to work effectively across boundaries, and one of the most powerful ways to boost performance is to improve it, participants of this workshop will learn how to

  • Understand various types of boundaries–both internal and external
  • Assess the current status of these boundaries–the gaps between how the boundary needs to be managed and how it is currently managed.
  • Create more purpose-driven coordination where it counts and how to craft the conversations required to produce it.
  • Constructively address the inevitable tensions, frictions, and tradeoffs that exist between teams, functions, and business units.
  • Engage in behavior across critical boundaries that supports the business strategy.
  • Collaboratively design ways to break down silos, build bridges, and improve integration that can be applied repeatedly beyond the workshop.
  • Put together a conversational game plan for important conversations across boundaries.
  • Build their personal and collective conversational capacity in the process.

Complementary Workshops

This course is commonly combined with the following courses:

Length: 2 hours +

Format: Virtual or in-person