One of the biggest issues in executive teams – collaboration or the lack of it. [See my blog on Professional Contempt]* . Several studies over the last few years have highlighted how rare it is in the C-suite, yet how necessary.
Update: Forrester, which is one of the leading global marketing firms, surveyed CIOs and CMOs – IT and Marketing – about their interaction. Yet again they find that in a critical issue – creating what customers want – there is not enough collaboration. It’s worrying that this survey includes the largest, best-resourced industry leaders. So what is everyone else doing?
The survey results are available here: http://goo.gl/UlmbmN]
Here a couple of questions to test whether your team is collaborative:
- Do your heads of IT, Marketing and Finance have specific joint-accountability projects that deliver strategy? Are those projects run well?
- Do they have a good relationship? No, not just toleration – are they genuinely seeking to understand and enable each other?
- Have they jointly produced an initiative – a genuine innovation – that will make a fundamental difference to the business?
If your answers aren’t a strong ‘Yes’, you need to look at appointing some true executives who do these things naturally.
In a globally connected economy executives who are governed by their ‘status’, ‘expertise’ or ambition are not only tough to have around. They represent a risk and a cost to the organisation.
Whether you are the CEO or a member of an executive team –
have you tolerated colleagues who don’t collaborate?
Have you stayed silent amidst the mutual miscomprehension?
What excuse is there, exactly, for IT not to ‘get’ Marketing?
Why should marketing not understand digital leverage?
Who in the team actively bridges the gaps? If not me, what’s the point of having me on the team?
So, work on the situation. Get them coached, which is what I and other good C-suite coaches can handle. Or get them replaced – and use the executive mindset as the basis for this recruitment process, not the job description.
In the end, the organisations that win, start with mature behaviour at the top. It’s your choice!