It can be challenging to synchronize tasks across multiple functions. Rather than cooperating, functions may end up competing for power, influence, and resources. Rivalry such as this is more than a nuisance; it’s costly.

When such cross-departmental rivalries get heated and conflicts arise, turning to team-building events or motivational speakers who talk about trust may encourage these departments to dislike and distrust one another.

It’s also easy to blame these conflicts on personalities, toxic bosses or big egos, but the root causes are often systemic. Organizations naturally fragment as they grow, pulling people apart into silos that can set rivalry in motion. If you see fraying cross-functional relationships, don’t resort to superficial solutions, dig deeper to understand what’s really causing it and take steps to set up your functions for mutual success.

As an example, create a monthly meeting for these groups to come together to discuss challenges and solve problems with greater candor.


Inspired by: Harvard Business Review - How to Permanently Resolve Cross-Department Rivalries, by Ron Carucci