How to achieve a behavioural change in the teams to enable knowledge transfer?

Strategy Telecommunications Industry

Cross-division Collaboration Cross-division Collaboration
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TelCo. established telecommunications faced the innovator’s dilemma: how to focus on both new innovations and improvement of existing solutions. Therefore TelCo. sought to initiate a culture of interaction and knowledge transfer in the company. The key challenge they faced in this goal was a difference in culture due to the employees coming from different business units.


TelCo. business unit teams had spent different time periods in the company, i.e. older employees from the established business unit and new employees from recent acquisitions. The established business unit had strong domain expertise while the new employees worked on new technologies. So, TelCo. faced internal barriers in collaboration between the olders and new teams. These barriers were related to both company culture as well as the formal goals between teams. Therefore TelCo. wanted to find a way to break down the barriers and increase interaction between the teams.

TelCo. utilized SprintlyWorks team to benchmark the best practices on employee collaboration, understand each team’s position on the topic, their incentives structure and performance measurement metrics.

Key research question

Q1: What are the motivations and incentives for an employee?

Q2: Did each business unit identify with the success of the other?

Q3: What should be the targets and KPIs to enable collaboration and interaction between the teams?


SprintlyWorks team conducted a three-phase project:

Phase 1 – Key strategic goals for each team

SprintlyWorks team initiated the project by understanding TelCo. management’s goals i.e. Strategic focus, KPIs and incentives, collaboration expectations. After understanding these, an exhaustive industry case research was conducted and the key levers for knowledge-sharing and collaboration were identified. They were: ability, motivation, and opportunity.

Phase 2 – Team’s perspective on the current state of collaboration

In this phase, the SprintlyWorks team conducted in-depth interviews with TelCo’s employees to gain a holistic understanding of the situation internally. It was found that relationships between people were good, joint projects have worked well and employees saw it easy to cooperate with the other team’s members. SprintlyWorks team identified resource allocation and prioritisation of joint tasks as a challenge. This is primarily due to different development cultures, additionally, the goals and incentives did not encourage collaboration.

Phase 3 – Create and validate solutions based on data analysis

Finally, based on the analysis of data collected from the employees’ recommendations were developed utilizing a Behavioural change framework. Starting from

  1. Top-level factors i.e. Organisational culture, identity, and values.
  2. Formal goals and incentives that communicate company values.
  3. Organisational structure that encourages active collaboration
  4. Existing culture and structures manifest at a behavioural level

These recommendations were then validated with employees to ensure they could be put into action at TelCo.


Collaboration is seen to work best when both teams have common goals and incentives. The sharing of use cases and borrowing resources for specific projects were key to employee collaboration. Finally, having collaboration goals and scope defined more clearly will ensure their culture of collaboration.

SprintlyWorks team provided TelCo. with 12 validated action points with an implementation guideline and measurement KPIs to monitor progress. This project saved 8 months of actionable management time.