Partnerships within an organization are very important. Modern business issues are complex and require all kinds of input from different departments. The more connections that are made, the more the departments will be able to help.
Of course, more connections can make things more complex, so make as many many or as few as your business needs. What this means is to make the right amount of connections that work for your business so you don’t add any unnecessary layers.
You can create effective partnerships by using these approaches:
Ensure a common mission: Each group involved in a strategy has its own goal, but everyone involved will be a strong, shared mission. Make sure that you establish a clear direction so that every group is working towards the same thing. The unique objectives for each group will be broadly understood in all of your partnerships.
Establish Clear Values and Protocols: Big decisions rarely only affect one person or one group. Because of this, you need to be clear about the values that guide decisions and how your choices are prioritized.
It’s easy to say that well-being of employees and cost-effectiveness are both important, but think about which one actually comes first. What values guide the decisions across groups when it’s hard to reconcile both? How will you balance the desire to give employees work choices against the needs of teams and the organization?
These issues will always cause tension, however, establishing clear values will help you make these tough decisions when the time comes.
Communicate, communicate, communicate: When challenges arise, always listen to the point of view of different experts. This can be hard because people want to be right, but creating a work culture where there are trustworthy and strong relationships will benefit the organization and make it easier when people disagree.
You should also make sure that there is enough time for everyone to speak in your meetings. This will enhance everyone’s overall understanding, and implement storytelling so that people will be able to see many sides of an argument.
Set up means for feedback: Quantitative and qualitative data will be collected over time, and you need to make sure there is a way for this to be monitored as your business works through the year. Build systems and listening posts at key points in the process to ensure measures are both department-specific and shared. Openly discuss the outcomes with an emphasis on improvement instead of defending or rationalizing.
You can also ask your employees about what’s not working well. Great leaders know that seeing things in the green at all times doesn’t always mean things are good. Targets could have been set too low, or employees could not be reporting the right things. Seek out things that could be going wrong, and do what you can to make improvements to these areas. Being honest and transparent across all departments will help keep employees accountable.
Create connection points: Scheduling extra meetings can impede productivity, but if groups are connecting on a regular basis, then efficiency can drastically improve by preventing issues or solving issues early on.
Being proactive about communication and being intentional about scheduling connection times will help increase the visibility of any business issues. Having a weekly touch base or daily standup can be really helpful in keeping people in the loop for issues that may be moving faster than usual.