Work and business processes cut across organizational boundaries and the traditional functional and geographic silos. We need to share information, cooperate and deliver results with external partners from other companies, locations, cultures and time zones.
Common examples of this include:
- Global account management – where a customer demands a single point of contact or an organization appoints internal resources to manage these high-profile sales and service relationships
- Outsourcing and offshoring of work to other locations and often to other organizations, leading to a more complex management and commercial environment
- Complex supply chains where work and product moves from one organization to the next and information flows and projects become increasingly integrated and interdependent
- Projects where companies bid together and must, consequently, work together to deliver
When we work with external partners across organizational boundaries, we need to engage people from different organizations with different cultures, commercial interests and perspectives, and we need to update our skills to cope.
Some typical problems in managing these kind of relationships can include; a lack of trust, the customer micromanaging the relationship, managing by influence rather than authority, corporate cultural differences, different ways of working, too much escalation and difficulties in managing change and innovation.