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Your Guide to Cross-Functional Collaboration in 2022

By | Al Dea |

One day early in my career, I woke up to an email from my boss with the subject line marked: “URGENT: Please Read.” My heart and brain started racing. When I opened the email, I found out that no, I wasn’t fired (the first thing my mind had jumped to, naturally) but there was an emergency with one of our clients, and I would need to join a meeting later that day with 15 other people from various teams to find a resolution.

To back up for a moment: We were working with the client to implement a technology system that would help them onboard new employees across the globe. The company was growing rapidly, and it was important for them to have a solution in place to support this growth. We were falling behind and at serious risk of missing the launch date, which could severely impact their business—and ours. After that emergency meeting, the 16 of us worked together every day until the situation was resolved.

It was a challenging but eye-opening experience for me, as I was forced to quickly meet people from different parts of the company, work together to identify the problem, and then take on and execute specific tasks that contributed to an overarching goal. After 22 hectic days, the system went live right on time. The company had gained a much more efficient and scalable solution for onboarding new employees and we’d kept an important client happy.

While I didn’t know it then, I’d been tasked with cross-functional collaboration—which would become a critical component of roles I’d hold in the years to come. And in today’s world of work, chances are cross-functional collaboration is a critical component of your job, too. In order to succeed in your career, you’ll need to know what it is and how to do it well.

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