Create an organisation where members want to know how to do others work so that they can help each other when they see others need support or others ask for help. To do this a leader must be both transformational and facilitative. They must embody the vision they are trying to create through their own behaviours. The desire to help must be accompanied by the skills and understanding in how to do so. A leader must facilitate this learning throughout the organisation and support it with appropriate processes and measurement. They must look for and encourage behaviours where team members are actively looking to share capacity. They must motivate and create the appropriate role perceptions and they must facilitate learning so that team members have the ability to behave appropriately in a range of situations. The key is that a leader must inspire their team to know why we should want to help each other and why the organisation exists. A leader must learn to enable those within an organisation to be both deeply skilled in specific roles but also have broad understanding and capability of carrying out other roles and this should be encompassed with a clear vision of the ‘big picture’ .
A more flexible organisation that has less reliance on knowledge silos with individuals being able to move across and function throughout an organisation. The organisation can cope with fluctuations in workload without the need for rigid role perceptions. Teams where employees are motivated to achieve what the organisation exists to do. The organisations stakeholders will care about each other and they care about the organisation fulfilling its promise.
Other beneficial impacts include:
· Broader skillsets of employees where team members can support a range of job functions within the business and have a sound understanding of how and when to contribute and most importantly understand why it’s important
· Greater organisational flexibility where teams can support the organisations long term vision
· Greater clarity of role perceptions where it is understood that the primary role of any team member is to help achieve the organisations vision
· Increased employee trust levels where people actively engage with one another and can empathise with each other which will lead to better communication.
· Increased levels of employee ownership within the organisation as team members actively understand why it is important to help each other to achieve a common objective
· Greater visibility of legacy planning as people who can handle a range of job functions will shine in their ability to contribute and the strength of their understanding of their organisation. Leaders who are capable of transforming the organisation and facilitating learning will make themselves highly visible candidates for promotion
Get a colleague from one department to work in another for 2-3days. For example get someone from purchasing to work with the production scheduler. Then task them to report on what they have learnt and how they can apply it in their current work environment. In 3 weeks time reverse it and have the scheduler work in the purchasing department. If people show an interest in learning more about the other functions facilitate that learning... it can be inspiring to watch colleagues broaden their horizons