How to head off the fatal flaw in cross-functional teams

There is one essential question you must ask when forming a coalition to address a particular problem or achieve a specific goal. Without it, your employees might be spinning their wheels.

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A bold claim was made in a recent post by Ted Bauer, a content guy interested in engagement, management, and leadership. He wrote:

Cross-functional teams are almost completely and entirely bullshit.

Bauer’s conclusion is based on personal experience, but also on results of a study published in the Harvard Business Review that found 75 percent of the cross-functional teams studied were dysfunctional. That dysfunction was based on teams’ failing on at least three of five criteria:

Bauer argues that cross-functional teams falter because team members prioritize their day-to-day work over the extracurricular assignment. I find it hard to disagree with Bauer, but the first thing that occurred to me as I read his post was a Melcrum study on intranet success.

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