Team Work

Location and Cross Functional Work

Team WorkIf "Location, Location, Location" is the mantra in the real estate world, I'm starting to believe that it should also be the mantra of cross functional teams as well. After a heated debate over whether or not location is important in producing quality work, I decided to watch.
Then I traveled to our office in another country.
Before long, I was asked by a colleague about a certain product we are working on. We decided to have a ten minute meeting out in the sun and talk about it. I shared some simple facts about that product, and I was very happy to know the next day that this gave him a good edge in his offering to the client, and the order more than doubled just because of that addition! The same day, we shared another product with another colleague, and with one simple recommendation, we were able to eliminate a lot of frustration about that product with a very small modification. These same colleagues were able to assist me in some partnerships I was trying to make, and we decided on several steps to get these things done.
I became a believer.
Had I not traveled on this trip, would we have not been able to "get our jobs done". Yes we would. But it's not about just getting the work done. It's about jumping to new places, and levels. It's about creating a harmony in the team, that would almost automate the process of innovation and creation. It's about being in a vibrant group that is more like an orchestra than a "business unit".
I am just remembering the way "friendships" were formed during my college years. They were based on a very simple and pure criterion: whether or not you attended the same elective classes together! We used to become close friends, share intimate information with each other, and they become special people in our lives. Of course much of this expires when the course ends and we acquire new friends.
An important psychological factor in this is that people start to view the world in a similar manner when they spend enough time with each other. A closer look shows that we start to adopt the positions of the people we work / live with, in the same place. My reasoning is that although there are logical reasons that push us to think similarly with close people, there is another hidden reason why we tend to take similar positions. We don't want to break whatever harmony there is, and we find it difficult to reject these people when they are expressing strong emotions. Of course, this is an investment we do, so that eventually we are given the chance to freely express our feelings.
Imagine what can happen when people with opposing points of view (sales and production or marketing and finance) sit together and start seeing the world from a similar perspective, and start sympathizing with one another! You get harmony. You get great results.