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Recommended Insights

Boundary Spanning Leadership

Boundary Spanning Leadership Enables Breaking Down Silos

Increase collaboration, tear down organizational silos, and mitigate turf wars to increase productivity, efficiency, and innovation.

We live in a world of vast collaborative potential. Yet, when times are tough, our natural tendency is to hunker down. All too often, we focus on what divides us.

Battle lines are drawn. Organizational silos get taller. Worldviews shrink, attitudes narrow, and positions tighten. Without meaning to, we find ourselves separated by the natural boundaries of most organizations.

All too often, these boundaries become borders, splitting groups into Us vs. Them. Without boundary spanning skills, people struggle with fractured relationships, divisive conflict, diminished resources, and suboptimal results. Innovation grinds to a halt as groups compete with one another, instead of collaborating together.

The flip side is also true. Boundaries are also frontiers — a place of emergent opportunity and new possibility. Where group boundaries collide and intersect, there is potential for new ways of working and collaboration.

The most effective leaders are successful at spanning common organizational boundaries, whether among peers horizontal boundaries); between levels of the org chart (vertical boundaries); with external groups like customers or the supply chain (stakeholder boundaries); across age, gender, culture, ideology, etc. (demographic boundaries); and across regions (geographic boundaries). That’s why boundary spanning is the key to breaking down silos at your organization and pushing it forward into the future.

Upskill Your Team With Boundary Spanning Leadership

Build Capacity by Breaking Down Silos

Your leaders need to be able to practice these 6 key boundary spanning leadership practices:

  • Buffering, defining boundaries to create safety
  • Reflecting, creating an understanding of boundaries to foster respect
  • Connecting, to suspend boundaries and build trust
  • Mobilizing, reframing boundaries to develop community
  • Weaving, interlacing boundaries to advance interdependence
  • Transforming, cross-cutting boundaries to enable reinvention

Start breaking down silos at your organization by equipping your team with these boundary spanning skills. We can deliver our world-class, research-backed boundary spanning leadership content to them — or you can. 

You Can Deliver Our Boundary Spanning Leadership Content, or We Can

You Deliver

We can equip your facilitators to deliver a workshop or internal training on boundary spanning, either online or in-person, whichever you prefer:

Access everything your internal HR or team leaders need to upskill your people by holding a leadership workshop on this topic

Let’s talk about how you can leverage this proven leadership program content in a custom internal development initiative

We Deliver

Or, we can incorporate boundary spanning as part of a larger leadership development initiative for your organization:

Combine with other topic modules and interactive experiences into a customized learning journey for your leaders

Our highly personalized leadership programs prepare leaders to address common challenges with boundary spanning 

What Our Clients Are Saying

Organizations who have partnered with us to upskill their people’s boundary spanning leadership skills consistently tell us the same thing: their experience with CCL made a significant impact on their culture — and their bottom line.

But don’t just take our word for it — take theirs.

“The unit-of-effort, team-of-teams approach made us twice as powerful as we would have otherwise been.”

General Lloyd Austin
U.S. Department of Defense

United States Forces Iraq and the United States of America Embassy logos

Boundary Spanning in a High-Pressure, High-Stakes Environment

“There are a lot of positive changes. People have started thinking more about communications and teams are more integrated. There were silos between teams, and right now teams are talking to each other.”

Program Participant
Merrimack Pharmaceuticals

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals logo

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals & CCL: Recognizing Patterns of Collaboration

Let's Discuss Boundary Spanning Leadership at Your Organization

Our experts are here to help. Let’s have a conversation about breaking down silos at your organization and how our boundary spanning leadership content could help support your development initiatives.

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Our Research-Backed Perspective on Boundary Spanning

The Power of Respect - Center for Creative Leadership
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The Power of Respect

Being respectful is critical for leaders, especially in conflict situations. Learn these 3 key indicators of respect, and discover ways to cultivate respect in your organization.

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Why You Should Collaborate Across Boundaries
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Why You Should Collaborate Across Boundaries

The most effective leaders work across boundaries, forging common ground with colleagues from differing positions, backgrounds, and locations. Evolve your approach with these boundary-spanning ideas.

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Other Topics Related to
Boundary Spanning & Breaking Down Silos

Package our research-backed boundary spanning leadership content with other proven leadership development topics and solutions for a customized scalable solution perfect for your organization’s unique needs, context, and culture. Related topics include:

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