Department- vs. Crossfunc.-Focus LO2864

James Moore (
Mon, 18 Sep 1995 12:04:14 -0400 (EDT)


One of the more critical business issues, of my client, is that their
departments tend to suboptimize in the practice of management as opposed
to operate in a way that increases their department's value in the final
product/service as it is received by the customer. This orientation tends
to destroy, or at least strongly inhibit, the realization of the value of
any cross functional decision making.

An example of this type of thinking is when, in a training class, there
was a discussion of adding additional languages on the packaging of
products that were being sold overseas. In the view point of accounting
departments this change would be prohibitive due to the fact that it would
increase product cost thereby threating a traditional profit margin (there
are foregin competitor's). The Marketing point of view is obvious,
however they did not have facts and figures (valid) on potential growth if
this additional language was included. My question (as a consultant) was
is this a true customer requirement and if it is are we, as an
organization, consciously or unconsciously deciding not to fulfill it. If
the answer to this question is yes, what is the impact of this type of
thinking on their interactions with their marketplace. And the last
question was, was this type of decision making symbolic of how decisions
are made on a day to day basis in the company.

Time and the training objectives of the course did not allow me to bring
closure to this discussion.

I would like to revisit this area with training. I am clear that the
problem has its roots in other areas other than Training (e.g. structure
of organization, compensation systems, health of the organization), but I
would like to use training to help them become aware of how their
organization makes decisions. Additionally, have them reflect on the
strengths and weaknesses of this process and then develop strategies to
begin to change the present decision making process.

I am looking for a simulation that will help them become aware of their
organizational decision making process. Has anyone had success with this?

Thanks in advance.
James Moore
James Moore <>