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Why Cross-Pollination Is Important At Work

It is an important business strategy for growth

By Dr Mehmet YildizPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Why Cross-Pollination Is Important At Work
Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

To build a high-performing team, we need to find creative ways to cross-pollinate in our business organisations. Cross-pollination can be an essential consideration for aspiring entrepreneurs in new ventures and business leaders for transformation.

In this article, my aim is to highlight the value proposition and the importance of cross-pollination for high-performance teams in new ventures and transforming business environments.

I’d like to share a simple example which helped transform a competitive, rigid, and difficult culture to a pleasant learning environment.

Cross-pollination is a metaphor taken from botany. The literal meaning of it is the transfer of pollen from plant flowers with different DNA which enable the creation of new types of plants carrying different attributes.

Cross-pollination is a powerful metaphor to understand the importance of diversity to create fusion in the workplace. Fusion is an enhanced form of collaboration.

Fusion refers to joining different things with different attributes or functions together to co-create or re-create a single new entity or form. Fusion relates to concepts such as integrating, blending, merging, amalgamating, and bonding. These terms are compelling norms for enabling inclusiveness and creating a diverse work culture in business organizations.

The metaphor of cross-pollination refers to sharing and interchanging of ideas, thoughts, information, and tacit knowledge for the enrichment of team capabilities.

One of the critical benefits of cross-pollination in the workplace is to maintain continuous learning. I shared my experience of continuous learning in story overviewing prominent adult learning theories. I Simplified Prominent Adult Learning Theories For You

The deliberate use of cross-pollination can create a pleasant learning environment. When the environment is non-threatening and supportive, we learn faster and more effectively. This perspective is well supported by prominent adult learning theories as covered in this article.

The practical implementation of cross-pollination can occur using the mentoring approach.

I see mentoring as a journey of shared discovery in the workplace.

As a mentor and protégé at the same time, I learnt new ideas, improved my skills, gained new perspectives, and developed sustainable working relationships.

Cross-pollination can be implemented using various techniques and tools.

For example, cross-pollination can happen using Design Thinking workshops. These workshops bring technical, business, and user community in a room and help the team members develop creative ideas, new approaches, and novel knowledge constructs.

I introduced the Design Thinking method in this story titled Power of Design Thinking for Content Developers on News Break.

To enable cross-pollination in our teams, we need to re-architect the environment using established principles such as trust, personal responsibility, and collaboration.

During this re-architecting process, we replace the following terms:

  • mistrust with trust
  • blame with responsibility
  • competition with collaboration

Reciprocity is a crucial term that we need to understand for cross-pollination.

From my observations in business environments, reciprocity plays a vital role in cross-pollination in high performing teams.

The insight I gained from reciprocity focused culture was seeing the support and favour as a privilege and return the favour in a different and unexpected format. This innovative implementation of reciprocity appeared to make a substantial impact on the quality of working relationships.

Another critical term for cross-pollination in the workplace is "Act of Kindness".

I want to give you an example to articulate this term.

In one of the creative teams, playing a game called “act of kindness” raised the team spirit and turned the workplace to a pleasant and trusted learning environment. In this game, each team member was giving creative kindness to their team members without expecting returns.

Since everyone in the team had this mindset and acted accordingly, the interchange was occurring naturally. Team members were giving without expecting.

More interestingly, the more they were giving, the more they were receiving.

As an ethnographic observer in this specific workplace, I enjoyed this novel approach to reciprocity and shared the notion with other teams needed it to improve workplace culture and work performance.

The act of kindness and natural reciprocity was representing the wind analogy for cross-pollination to occur naturally.

I witnessed many business leaders implement principles of cross-pollination in the workplace. Those teams which adapted the principles transformed to a high-performing team. Their authentic behaviour was noticeable in delighting its customers. These workplaces provided excellent service. The productivity substantially increased and profitability naturally followed,

I hope these points can provide you with useful insights for considering and implementing in your workplace. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur this can be a critical success factor for your venture.

Thank you for reading my perspectives.

Disclaimer: the original version of this story was published in another platform.


About the Creator

Dr Mehmet Yildiz

I'm a writer and published author with four decades of content development experience in business, technology, leadership, and health. I work as a postdoctoral researcher and consultant. My background is at

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