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Training To Help Cross-Functional Teams Work Smarter

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Posted by Rick Lepsinger February 4, 2016

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Just as some individuals are more intelligent than others, some teams are smarter than others and accomplish more as a result. However, gathering a group of the most intelligent individuals within your company does not always guarantee a smart team. Not only is this approach unrealistic, it fails to account for the essential, intangible factors that make a team click. This is especially true among cross-functional teams or matrix organizations.

You can’t necessarily predict how well team members will work together, how they’ll make decisions and how efficient they’ll be, but there are some things you can do to make your cross-functional team smarter. Above all, you can equip your team with the training and tools they need to achieve their potential.

OnPoint Consulting has long been a leader in providing practical training for cross-functional teams or matrix organizations and their leaders. Now our most popular programs are available in an e-learning format to make them more convenient and affordable.

Our e-learning programs for cross-functional teams are based on proven management models and our own extensive research into what works.

If investing in your team is one of your resolutions this year, here are six training programs to consider.

1. Influencing In a Matrix

Why: Many cross-functional teams include members who are spread across departments and geographic areas. In this environment, a team’s effectiveness depends on its members’ ability to gain the support of others who don’t necessarily report to them. There may be fewer opportunities to meet face to face, making influencing more difficult. This program provides strategies for overcoming this divide and adapting the most effective influencing strategies, no matter where your team members are located.

Participants Will Learn:

  • The four influencing techniques that are most effective in a matrix
  • Which techniques they use most often
  • Guidelines for influencing others effectively

2. Empowering Your Cross-Functional Team to Excel

Why: In today’s matrix organizations, leaders need to find ways to empower and motivate people who may not report directly to them. Empowering is based on a leader’s ability to address others’ needs while achieving the larger team’s and organization’s goals. By creating purpose and meaning for people’s work and giving them opportunities to take responsibility, leaders can generate enthusiasm for the organization’s goals and gain their commitment to accomplishing them. This program will help leaders motivate their team members and ensure they reach their full potential.

Participants Will Learn:

  • The surprising truth about what motivates people
  • The role delegating plays in motivating and empowering others
  • How to identify and overcome common barriers to delegation
  • How to apply four action steps for empowering others

3. The Secret to Successful Decision-Making in a Matrix

Why: In a matrix organization where roles and responsibilities aren’t always clearly defined, it can be difficult to determine who should be involved in decisions and to what extent. Who should have ultimate approval authority, who needs to be consulted and who merely needs to be informed? This program will give teams a framework for making smarter decisions.

Participants Will Learn:

  • Best practices for involving people in decisions
  • Three criteria to choose the best approach to decision-making
  • How to recognize when each approach is most effective

4. Enhancing Accountability in a Matrix

Why: One of the most important factors that sets great teams apart from mediocre or ineffective ones is the willingness of team members to take accountability for achieving results. And a key differentiator of a cross functional team’s leader is the ability to manage accountability of team members who do not report directly to them. This program provides leaders with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to ensure team members take responsibility for achieving results.

Participants Will Learn:

  • How to define and assess accountability within a team
  • How to set team members up for success and ensure they fulfill commitments
  • How to use three critical coaching questions to increase accountability

5. Critical Thinking: Enhancing Judgment in a Matrix

Why: People working in matrix organizations are inundated with information and requests from others. To cope with this, they often use “short cut” techniques to make decisions quickly. While this can be helpful in some situations, it can result in poor decisions on important issues. This program will provide matrix leaders and team members with strategies to make smarter decisions with confidence.

Participants Will Learn:

    • How to recognize when they are making decisions based on assumptions, rather than facts
    • How to use tools and techniques to evaluate arguments
    • Strategies to enhance critical thinking

6. Collaborating for Success in the Matrix

Why: For anyone working within a matrix organization, cooperation and coordination are critical to success. Unfortunately, both can be difficult to attain when working with others who have different goals and priorities and/or a lack of clear roles and decision authority. This program will equip team members with the skills they need to create and sustain cooperation.

Participants Will Learn:

      • The organizational elements required to achieve strong cooperation among team members
      • What skills, tools and techniques can be used to enhance cooperation and coordination

Together, these programs will build a foundation for a strong, smart and effective team. But don’t just take our word for it—try a free demo today.

Cross-Functional Team Building 

Topics: Work Better Across Boundaries, Cross-Functional Team Building

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