A cross-functional team is a group of employees from different functions within an organisation – such as human resources, information technology, marketing and finance – who all focus on specific objectives and have the responsibility to work as a team to achieve shared goals. Cross-cultural teams, on the other hand, are made up of people from different social and professional cultures, who work together toward a common goal.
Managing cross-functional teams is a complex endeavor by itself, but it becomes even more challenging when the cross-cultural component is added to the mix. In fact, in today’s global and knowledge-oriented environment, the alignment of human resources is just as important as raw materials, production and marketing, as a team that cannot work together will not produce much in terms of results.
What complicates the situation is that in today’s dynamic and volatile business environment, senior HR executives require a keen understanding of relevant factors impacting the formation and utilisation of global teams. However, with cooperative, involved management from senior HR executives, global teams can gain the knowledge and confidence to collaborate effectively within the new environment through the self-creation of shared and actionable project plans.
This can create a “win-win” strategy in two important ways: First, the organisation benefits by safeguarding vital, ongoing business operations and the completion of time- and budget-sensitive projects. Secondly, potential new leaders can be identified from within the organisation.