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Functional Triangle

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Four kinds of functional capability teams

There are four different kinds of functional capability teams. Each has a different goal that can be summarized in an operational purpose statement:

  1. Developing Capability Team: Our operational purpose includes accessing, aligning, and delivering the capabilities that the business segments require to develop and bring winning value propositions, products, and services to market. Examples include product development, market strategy.
  2. Selling Capability Team: Our operational purpose includes accessing, aligning, and delivering the capabilities that the company and business segments require to attract, align, and optimize our channel partners, e.g., ‘we represent the voice of our channel partners and franchisees.’ Examples include market messaging, sales, business development.
  3. Delivering Capability Team: Our operational purpose includes accessing, aligning, and delivering the capabilities the business segments require for delivering quality products and services and generating positive referrals with our channel partners and target clients. Examples include operations, quality.
  4. Supporting Capability Team: Our operational purpose and the scope of our shared work as a team includes accessing, managing, and delivering XYZ capabilities to support ABC individuals, teams, and organizational units in our company. Examples include Legal, Finance, and HR.

The challenge is to visualize these operational purposes to better explain and implement them. And the solution is the functional triangle.

The ‘functional triangle’ is a visualization of three scenarios in the operational purpose of a functional capability team, as described above.

The Functional Triangle by Growth River

Applications of the functional triangle include:

  • Explaining key creative tensions.
  • Identifying and resolving primary constraints to value and results.
  • Designing systems of capabilities.
  • Designing systems of roles.
  • Formulating functional capability strategy.
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