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Businesses are becoming a bit more complex in the modern era, as the volume and diversity of moving parts continues to expand amid a constantly evolving private sector and range of new consumer demands. In many ways, one of the biggest impacts this trend has come with pertains directly to leadership-level staff members, as new positions such as the chief information officer and chief marketing officer are becoming more prominent and widespread in industries that did not traditionally have executive positions for these responsibilities. 

As such, decision-makers should focus on improving business relationships between their leaders so operations can continue on despite disruption, as various departments are becoming more interdependent with the passing of each year. By bringing these leaders together for management training and influence skills development, bridging the otherwise wide gap between certain departments will be a far easier task, and can lead directly to more prolific relationships with partners, clientele, vendors and others on the outside. 

Where to begin
Harvard Business Review recently offered suggestions to companies that want to build stronger relationships between their chief marketing officers and chief operational officers, affirming that these two leadership positions must be on the same page to keep the brand in a good place. Because marketing has become a digital endeavor, CMOs and COOs should be working together frequently, while bonds between these roles and the chief information officer should also be a focus. 

According to the news provider, customer-facing companies tend to need the most work with respect to their CMO-COO relationships, while there are a wealth of strategic matters that ought to be covered to get conversations moving along more consistently between the leaders. For one, the source recommended the creation of a vocabulary and metrics system that is shared among COOs and CMOs to reduce complexity and ensure that these officers are speaking the same language.

With respect to the metrics-sharing, this can be a fruitful pursuit for virtually any project that involves further linking various departments in the business, and virtually any company can truly progress when measurement is standardized across the board. Furthermore, Harvard Business Review urged firms to develop a more formal structure for collaboration activities, pilot partnership programs for specific customer projects and maintain strong communication channels throughout the life cycle of broader initiatives.

Integrated leadership adds value
Again, while these types of suggestions work especially well for firms working to get their COOs and CMOs on the same page, they can also be viable options for building stronger business relationships across all departments. The more that leaders are on the same page, the most consistently operations will run. Additionally, knowledge-sharing will often increase substantially in these situations, further adding value to interdepartmental activities and bolstering the culture of the company at large. 

With the right approaches to leadership development and general influence skills training, these pursuits can make a big difference for any business, regardless of its size or industry.