Many of us are defined by our academic qualification or professional status – as engineers, managers or whatever.

But most of us have learned that we need to be able to talk to those in other roles … and need to understand their knowledge base, their expectations, their way of thinking.

How to cross those knowledge and functional boundaries is what we learn after our formal education has stopped (or paused) … and is at least as important. It is how we make multi-functional, multi-talented teams work in practice … and how we make business processes effective and efficient. 

if your staff cannot cross these boundaries, you end up with ‘silo management’ where each person understands only their role … and not how their role contributes to the whole ….and why, therefore, why what they do is important and must be done well. 

If they don’t understand that, it is unlikely that any degree of exhortation will make them perform … so you end up with, at the best, sub-optimal performance. 

Communicate, by all means. … but make sure people themselves know how to communicate across role and function boundaries.