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Pay Attention to Peer and Partner Departments

What are you doing to pay attention to other departments? That’s right. In today’s organizations, we have so many different business models, we have matrix organizations. Whereas a leader you might have virtual relationships with you, that don’t have a direct line to you but maybe they have responsibilities that impact your team. Or maybe you have other departments who have to get work done before you can touch it in order for you to proceed. We need to pay attention to other departments. So, today, what I would like to consider is how do we have that profession attention commitment to other departments?

The first step is an obvious one and that’s about building relationships. Now, building relationships sounds so easy but how are you doing it? Are you inviting people to your team meeting so that they can get an insight into what your team’s talking about? Are you shadowing people to understand what’s going on in their business?

One of my clients is a major media company, and they have an advertising and sales decision. Now in advertising and ad is called a “spot”, so what I was able to do was to follow a spot. Like a day in the life of a spot from the moment they sold the ad to the client all the way through until it was placed on television. What as fascinating about that was working with all the different departments to understand how everything impacts something else.

When was the last time you developed department relationships by reviewing end-to-end processes for efficiencies? What relationships could grow? What policies could you update?

The first step in truly paying attention to other departments is build relationships. This can often happen through things like affinity groups. Another one of my clients has major affinity groups for all kinds of different reasons that people meet. Can you build relationships through affinity groups?

The second strategy is to share success. That’s right. So what does that mean? Understanding objectives of other departments is really important because you can know how to celebrate when they get some great things happening. But in the same way, if another department has an implication, has and impact is probably a better word, on what you do, then share with them when that goes well. Share the successes and not just the challenges. Too often we only reach out to another department when somethings gone wrong.

Wouldn’t it be cool to proactively pay attention to celebrate success together? Share new stories, share customer experiences, testimonials, emails that are great. Share success stories with other departments, so they have a greater appreciation of what they’re doing and how it impacts you and vice versa.

The third strategy is to invite collaboration. When you have someone who comes into your team from another department, they have a very different perspective. They might look at the world more creatively. They might have a great idea so ask for their input, encourage them to share, openly, about anything they see that might improve the way you do things, might enhance the client experience.

I have one client where they do regular Lunch and Learns for other departments. It’s a great way for them to meet other people, to share success stories about what’s going on but also, to be able to collaborate on how they can perform better as a company overall.

Three ways that you can pay attention to other departments. Build relationships, share success and invite collaboration. What would you add?

You see I believe that when we truly pay attention to others, attention comes back over and repeatedly. You’ve heard me say it before and in our book, “Attention Pays”, that when you pay attention, attention pays, right?

What are some additional ways that you can really pay professional attention and commit to other departments? Other departments impact your success as a leader. Like I said, “When you pay attention, attention pays.”

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