Being able to ask good questions and seeing them from the perspective of others is a trait that cross-sectoral talents need to have.

Editor’s note: This article is from WeChat public account “红 杉 汇 ” (ID: Sequoiacap), author Hong Shan.

Products and services that are valuable to users have never originated from the single-handedness of one department of an enterprise, but have been the result of multi-department collaboration and brainstorming. How to form a benign interaction between multiple departments and create a creative closed loop is a problem that companies are generally thinking about in the current changing industry and shortening product life cycles. Based on this, the market’s demand for cross-sectoral talent is unprecedented.

So how can you find candidates with cross-sectoral leadership? How to cultivate the inter-departmental working ability of internal employees? This article summarizes some methods for HR to recruit inter-departmental talents and train internal employees. People with these characteristics are more likely to be competent for cross-departmental work: experience with multiple backgrounds, good questioning, ability to think in other places, and a global perspective …

Break through the glass door: just develop cross-sectoral leadership

Those HR who work hard to find and cultivate the best talents for the company understand the importance of cross-departmental leadership. Cross-departmental work can bring great value to the team. How should HR recruit cross-departmental leaders? How to ensure that employees can work effectively across departments or functions?

Hire and train “middlemen”

“Intermediaries” can facilitate communication between individuals with different backgrounds and values. Good offices are crucial when connecting departments with different cultures or values.

Sujin Jang, an assistant professor at the European School of Business Administration, points out that cross-sectoral talents need to have two roles: “mediators” (people who help colleagues resolve cultural differences) and “adhesives” (helpers to build lasting relationships with others. people).

The “middleman” can help others to collaborate across departments without disturbing their daily work. Their role is to represent other people’s cross-departmental cooperation, to replace them to complete cross-departmental communication, and other employees can continue to work as if in their own department. The “binder” is to connect cross-department colleagues with their own efforts and help them communicate directly, rather than just acting as a megaphone between colleagues.

The work of “middlemen” can create great value for the company. HR can identify candidates by examining their background and experience. These people often have work experience in multiple fields and help others to work across fields. experience of. For example, these candidates may have participated in post-merger integration or have work experience with different industries or companies.

In addition, HR can also cultivate “middlemen” within the enterprise through some mechanisms. HR can consider implementing rotation plans or designing a matrix structure to create a rich working environment for employees. Skills provide ample opportunities.

Encourage asking and thinking without understanding

Being able to ask good questions and be able to look at them from the perspective of others is a characteristic that cross-sectoral talents need. Many companies have made it clear that they will hire people with good communication skills.

For example, Southwest Airlines evaluates candidates for empathy and empathy when recruiting positions that have direct communications with customers. Because of this, Southwest Airlines has built a reputation for good customer service.

In the interview, HR can listen carefully to the various questions asked by job applicants: Will they ask open-ended questions to better understand the company and position? Do they verify their understanding by asking questions? Candidates who can ask proficient questions know how to ask questions effectively to get the right perspective.

It is also important for the company to cultivate the ability of employees to think differently. Some Fortune 500 companies will require reserve talents to work in different functional departments such as finance and marketing for several years. They can know in this mechanism what it is like to work in different departments of the company; there are also companies that develop “sympathy” VR tools and other means to cultivate employee empathy for older customers.

Having a workforce with transposition thinking can bring many benefits to the business. Harvard Business School professor Edmondson found that cross-industry collaboration can be successful only when employees can stand in the perspective of other members of the team, and those who are good at asking questions and are curious can take advantage of cross-departmental work.

Helping employees build a global perspective

The premise of cross-department cooperation is to understand the internal structure of the enterprise, and the ability to perceive the internal connections of the organization is very important. The better the employees are at finding the intersections between the work of different departments, the easier it will be to work across departments. According to Tiziana Casciaro, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, many people lack a “local perception” of interpersonal relationships, and they don’t know what the relationship between others is throughout the organization. For example, if you know two people at the same time, you subconsciously think that they know each other, but this is not the case.

People are better at “holistic perception,” for example, they clearly know who is the center of the organization and whichColleagues have a job crossover with everyone, or who works outside. With this perception, we can understand the basic composition and internal logic of the organization.

HR can help employees distinguish between “local perception” and “global perception.” Once employees start to see the entire forest instead of a single tree, they can communicate more effectively across departments. In addition, improving employees’ “perceived overall” can also help them discover when they need “middlemen”, when they need to ask questions, and when they need to think differently.

Research shows that it is feasible to find and develop the above skills in job candidates. This requires a certain amount of capital investment, but the potential returns are huge. When employees can communicate between different departments, think differently, and see the internal structure of the organization, they can better integrate internal resources to promote company development. HR can build appropriate incentives to encourage employees to develop these skills.