What’s one big red flag indicating that a cross-functional strategy will struggle? When the organization delays choosing a leader for the cross-functional team to oversee the initiative’s development and implementation.
Unfortunately, we have experienced clients delaying choosing team leaders far too often. This happens even though we press them to identify a leader even before we launch strategy planning.
Why is choosing a cross-functional leader ASAP such a big deal?
Neglecting to choose a leader early digs a hole that you can get out of, but why fall behind right away?
We see these nine benefits as compelling reasons for choosing a cross-functional leader ASAP in the earliest strategy planning stages:
- When the organization makes the decision quickly, it demonstrates trust in the leader. The organization can then fully invest in preparing the leader for implementation.
- Early involvement gives the leader a big ownership stake in the initiative’s implementation and success.
- A leader who is in place early can anticipate opportunities and challenges, along with ways to address them.
- Engaging a cross-functional leader early in collaborative planning helps shape the narrative for the team’s thinking and development.
- A designated leader can play an active role in balancing broad thinking and a realistic scope as the initiative plan emerges.
- Once the leadership decision is made, the cross-functional leader plays an active role in championing and growing support for the initiative.
- Having the future leader in place creates a review and decision making structure throughout the initiative’s development. You’ll experience the benefit of having an individual with direct responsibility engaged early.
- You want someone with responsibility for implementation participating in making decisions and setting priorities.
- Everyone will save time instead of having to backtrack and explain copious background information to a leader chosen too late.
There’s no overwhelming reason we’ve come across to delay leadership decisions. Trust us: engage smart leader candidates right away whenever you are pursuing cross-functional initiatives. – Mike Brown