Functional Culture

The increasing reliance on cross-functional teamwork and collaboration requires the ability to reduce the cultural risk factors to optimal performance.

That cross-functional teams present a unique type of challenge is no surprise to anyone who has ever been a member of one. Rifts between research and marketing, engineering and sales, or human resources and general management are, among others, notorious parts of the corporate experience. Applying an intercultural perspective to cross-functional interactions provides more than a differentiated understanding of the phenomenon of culture; it unlocks a set of powerful synergies.

At the functional level, cultural competence enables bridging cultural gaps, the importing, exchanging, and creation of knowledge, the negotiation of compatible business processes and practices, and the development of synergies across functions, including customers and suppliers. Practitioners can use the Cultural Orientations Approach to assist everybody in cross-functional teams, including functional leaders, with cross-functional collaboration and project management.

Click below to access an in-depth discussion, podcasts, and examples of addressing this level of culture at work.