Organization-wide change requires cross-function teams to guide the change initiative. Without a cross-functional team, unrepresented organizational units are more likely to resist the change since it is assumed that their voice is not heard or considered. Ideally, the cross-functional team will comprise respected change champions from the various subunits. At a minimum, the team must be led by a change champion.
Cross-functional teams are different from the more traditional functional team. They can speed new product development cycles, increase creative problem solving, serve as a forum for organizational learning, and be a single point of contact for key stakeholder groups. Because of this unique structure and mandate, team leadership is different for a cross-functional team than for a functional team. Specifically, technical skills are relatively less important for these types of teams, but conceptual and interpersonal skills are more important. Hence, the creation and composition of cross-functional teams can be an excellent way to identify and develop your change champions. 1