“THE MORE MEMBERS OF A LEADERSHIP TEAM
THAT UNDERSTAND EACH OTHERS’ PERSPECTIVES,
THE MORE EFFECTIVE THEY CAN BE.”
– NICK SHEPHERD, FOUNDER, EDUVISION
CROSS TRAIN FOR BETTER PERFORMANCE
In sports, cross training is commonplace because it’s effective.
NFL players take ballet classes and runners frequent yoga studios
to round out training programs and elevate performances. Flexing
our intellectual muscles beyond departmental lines can have the
same sort of impact on professional performance.
After all, every aspect of business is ultimately interconnected.
“To be a fully functioning member of the senior team, you’ve got
to have an understanding of not only finance but also operations,
sales and marketing and all the things that go into how an organi-zation
works,” said Shepherd.
When professionals cross train and become knowledgeable –
not expert, just knowledgeable – in an area outside of their own,
they become extremely valuable to any organization because now
they can translate.
“They can take accounting speak and explain it to the HR peo-ple
and take HR speak and explain it to the accounting people,”
said Causton. “This opens up dialogues that would be impossible
if everyone was busy speaking their own language.”
Freer communication and collaboration lead to more reasoned
business decisions, since issues can be seen from all sides. For
example, an organization looking to cut hiring costs might con-sider
eliminating multiple interviews and some levels of testing.
Intuitively, an HR person might know that the step would save
money in the short term, but cost the organization dearly in the
long term. By collaborating with a finance person to help quanti-fy
the argument, the pair could develop a strong business case and
help steer the organization to a better decision.
A MORE EFFECTIVE SENIOR TEAM
As part of the senior decision-making team, HR pros who can see
a story from the financial side of the fence as well as their own have
more to work with when it comes to contributing.
“Simply put,” said Shepherd, “the more members of a leadership
team that understand each others’ perspectives, the more effective
they can be.” ■
Photo by Pressmaster / Shutterstock
24 ❚ MAY/JUNE 2014 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL