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Coordinating with Others

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

“One of the major reasons capable people fail to advance is because they do not work well with their colleagues.” This is another famous Lee Iacocca quote which brings to notice the impact of right coordinating.

Coordinating happens when a goal is achieved with the harmonious unity of actions by various people, departments, and functions. To succeed, every organisation has goals. It is also a fact that no one person or team can actualize these goals without the help or activities of various departments. This can only happen when various departments work harmoniously, in an integrated manner. Only then there is engagement and organizational goals are duly achieved with minimum conflict.

There is minimal coordination required when a person is working on his own or to achieve his own goals. When the scale of operations become huge, as in organisations, coordination takes on a whole new meaning. So many people, departments, functions, mind-sets, opinions, work styles, and processes are involved that communication and supervision could pose a challenge. To add to this, large organisations have activities across locations. Then the culture, time and distance also plays a role, in a big way. Hence, the need for ‘coordinating right’ becomes greater and becomes a major responsibility for the management.

To understand the importance of ‘Coordinating with Others’ in a more significant and effective manner, let us first see what happens when there is no proper coordination in an organisation. The losses are huge. No second guesses why organisations spend time and efforts to train their workforce in cultivating this very important skill.

When there is a lack of coordination

  • Lack of coordination between departments, result in delays which in the long run will cause the organization to become ineffective

  • Delays result in dis-satisfaction, customer relations suffer. Delays create unreliability and no customers will like an unreliable organization.Decreases productivity, which is a direct result of complicated processes and delays in completion of tasks

  • Duplication of work – lack of proper coordination could lead to teams not understanding what they have to do, thus will spend time doing the wrong work whereby an organization will have to spend double the effort, material and time to get the work done again

  • Redundancy – Team members lose interest in the job and many a time, leave the job causing further delays

  • Stagnancy – Today’s world is all about newness, latest in technology, latest in fashion, latest in offerings. When there is lack of proper coordination, innovation and progress become stagnant thus making the organization stagnant and unable to compete against competitors

This list can go on and on. End result – if no action is taken to counter it, it’s doomsday for the organisation. Hence, it becomes essential that the activities of various departments and work groups of the organization are harmonized. This skill of working in harmony between functions is known as ‘coordinating’ skill. Working with this skill ensures there is unity of action among the team and departments, whereby various required activities are carried out in a purposeful manner so as to achieve organizational goals both at a micro and macro level, efficiently.

Learning Coordinating Skills

Spotlight identified three forms of coordination:

  • Sequencing and combining your own activities – capacity to organise work by prioritising, switching and refocusing attention, and combining and linking activities

  • Interweaving activities collectively – capacity to follow up tasks, follow through on undertakings and interlink activities with those of colleagues or functions

  • Maintaining and/or restoring workflow – capacity to maintain, balance or restore workflow, deal with emergencies, overcome obstacles, or help put things back on track

SWOT in Coordinating with others – Potential Obstacles and Preventative measures

  1. Understand organisational goals clearly – poor understanding could lead to delays and sub-standard delivery thus affecting organizational reputation

  2. Utilization of Resources – Inability to utilize the correct internal and external resource as per project requirements and organisational objectives

  3. Performance Trust – Trusting teams and other functions to carry out the tasks efficiently. When there is distrust, the equation changes

  4. Prioritising and switching priorities as necessary – Have a clear vision of organisational goals and expectations. Prioritise, focus, achieve but keeping flexibility in mind

  5. Deal with unexpected crises, obstacles or interruptions as soon as it happens, then efficiently getting the work back on track, preventing further crises

People, when given the right motivation and environment, perform really well. The fit between interdependence and coordination has to be well designed and executed as it affects the overall delivery as far as the people and functions infrastructure is concerned. Would make immense sense to design the fit well, take the team’s agreement on it, and you will see the magic of super accomplishment.

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