What Advice Can You Give for Communicating Strategy to Cross-Functional Teams?


    What Advice Can You Give for Communicating Strategy to Cross-Functional Teams?

    When it comes to articulating strategy to diverse teams, we've gathered insights from top executives, including CEOs and founders. From keeping the strategy simple and relatable to using engaging methods for strategy sharing, here are five valuable pieces of advice to enhance your communication with cross-functional teams.

    • Keep Strategy Simple and Relatable
    • Tailor the Message for the Audience
    • Align Communication with Team Interests
    • Gather Stakeholders for Role Clarity
    • Use Engaging Methods for Strategy Sharing

    Keep Strategy Simple and Relatable

    One piece of advice I would give for successfully communicating strategy to cross-functional teams is to keep it simple and relatable. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may confuse or alienate team members from different departments. Instead, use clear and concise language that everyone can understand. Additionally, try to relate the strategy to the overall goals and objectives of the company, highlighting how each team's contribution is vital to achieving success. By making the strategy relatable and emphasizing the importance of each team's role, you can foster a sense of unity and collaboration among cross-functional teams. Remember, effective communication is the key to aligning everyone towards a common goal.

    Alex Stasiak
    Alex StasiakCEO & Founder, Startup House

    Tailor the Message for the Audience

    The key to effectively communicating strategy across different departments is to tailor your message for the audience. Not everyone speaks the same language, so ditch the corporate buzzwords and get down to brass tacks. Imagine you're coaching a diverse group of athletes with varying fitness levels – you wouldn't prescribe the same workout to everyone, would you? Break it down into bite-sized pieces, connect it to each team member's role, and make sure they understand how their efforts contribute to the bigger picture. That way, you'll have a squad that's all in sync, smashing those strategic goals together.

    James Cunningham
    James CunninghamSenior Coach, Total Shape

    Align Communication with Team Interests

    Successfully communicating strategy to cross-functional teams hinges on a key principle: aligning the communication style and content to the specific interests and expertise of each team.

    For instance, when presenting a digital marketing strategy to a diverse team, it's crucial to tailor the message. To technical teams like IT or product development, emphasize how the strategy leverages technology and aligns with product capabilities. For sales or customer service teams, focus on how the strategy enhances customer engagement and sales opportunities.

    This approach was notably utilized by Google in their early stages. They effectively communicated their cross-functional strategies by ensuring that each department understood how their role specifically contributed to the company's overall objectives. This method fosters a sense of ownership and clarity among team members, leading to more effective and coordinated efforts towards common goals.

    Bruno Gavino
    Bruno GavinoFounder, CEO, CodeDesign

    Gather Stakeholders for Role Clarity

    It is really important to gather all stakeholders in order to acquaint them with the roles of each team. Comprehension of the bigger picture is imperative for interdisciplinary success. With the foundation in place, assigning tasks in accordance with roles will be much simpler, with each team possessing a clear understanding of their contribution and how it impacts the project as a whole. It is also crucial to have a system for feedback in place and to regularly meet with key stakeholders.

    Dr. Erkeda Derouen
    Dr. Erkeda DerouenCEO, Erkeda DeRouen, MD LLC

    Use Engaging Methods for Strategy Sharing

    Cross-functional teams need to communicate regardless of their functions and share a channel that brings them together. You can achieve this with games, internal events, or something that creates excitement and focuses on a specific topic. For large companies, orchestrating something aligned with behavioral psychology is key and highly effective.

    In addition to these methods, it's crucial to ensure that the strategy is communicated in a way that resonates with each team's specific role and contribution. This means breaking down the overarching strategy into relevant parts that align with the functions of each team. By doing this, each team can see how their work directly contributes to the broader goals, fostering a sense of ownership and commitment.

    Consistency in messaging is key, and it will help you in the long run.

    Cristina Imre
    Cristina ImreFounder Tech Leadership Lab & Quantum Wins Consultant, Quantum Wins