How to Permanently Resolve Cross-Department Rivalries

by Ron Carucci

It can be challenging to synchronize complex tasks across multiple functions. Rather than cooperating, too many functions end up competing for power, influence, and limited resources. And such rivalry is more than a nuisance: It’s costly. One study reports that 85% of workers experience some regular form of conflict, with U.S. workers averaging 2.8 hours per week.1 That equates to $359 billion paid hours mired in conflict. It’s easy to blame these conflicts on personalities—think toxic bosses or big egos—but in my experience as an organizational consultant, the root cause is more often systemic. For example, this study examining the rivalry between sales and marketing ...

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