During the creation of cross-functional teams, mid-level managers need to be very cautious to not start up on the wrong foot of establishing a mid-level manager versus team approach. In this scenario, a mid-level manager acts as the centre of the whole communication process, the failure of which ends up blocking important passages of communication for different teams. Inter-departmental barriers may arise as a result of this centralized communication process, which can be a very bad symptom for any team.
Complying with the definition of a team, mid-level managers also contribute with the same amount of effort either individually or as a part of the team. Having said that, it still is a bad idea for mid-level managers to think of themselves as a centrepiece of their team. Instead, mid-level managers should have the approach of being an ordinary member of the team possessing additional authority, but no extra privileges than others and having the same objectives as everyone else in the team.
Selecting Team Players from Cross–Functional Teams
A cross-functional team comprises of key players from different departments, who may not necessarily come from the upper management, but instead from a laterally-related department. The main objective behind setting up of this type of a team is to work closely on the solution of issues, which may need expertise in various fields. The team members in a cross-functional team need to be −
- Able to represent knowledge with respect to their department.
- Willing to work in or lead a transactional team.
- They should be solution oriented.
After selection of members, all of them are assigned respective tasks according to their field of expertise, so that the entire team achieves the goal collectively. It is also important for team players to discuss functional areas and responsibilities with members of the team.
Furthermore, assigning a specific task to a specific team member makes that particular team member feel special, relevant and important to team. With an increase in the number of team members, who understand their importance in the team, motivation within members also increases.
Influencing the Client’s Team
A mid-level manager always tries to find a common denominator between his team and the client’s team. This is the best way to have an influence over the client’s team. Most of this is generally done during the planning stage itself. It is crucial to convey importance of things that are common between two teams, so that clients are interested in a partnership for a long time.