The game of chess is a battlefield where the individual pieces
from the royalty of the king and queen to the lowly pawns play
their roles based on the rules of play and their part in the
overall strategy of the players. It’s exactly the same in

It does no good to the overall goals if a bishop or a rook would
decide to move away from its job of protecting the king. It would
considerably weaken the player’s chances of winning because beating
an opponent requires a unified effort among all the pieces. It’s
the same thing in business; it does no good for the sales
department to promise delivery by a certain day just to get the
order knowing that they can’t deliver on time. There is a direct
relationship needed between the sales function and the production
function to satisfy the customer’s needs.

Think of these relationships between the pieces on the
chessboard and the departments or functions of a business as a
diagram. The diagram for chess is, of course, the chessboard. The
diagram for business is the organization chart. Both diagrams show
the interconnectedness of one piece to the whole enterprise.

All that’s fine in theory, but as it’s practiced in many
businesses, there is little or no unified effort. Each department
seems to be working at its own pace, on its own projects, to its
own ends so much of the effort is uncoordinated and wasted.

Salespeople make promises that production can’t meet, the
warehouse forgets to check that incoming merchandise is received so
accounts payable can’t pay the invoices, marketing doesn’t turn new
leads from a trade show over to salespeople until long after the
show when the leads were “hot” and now they’re “cold.”

If you want to win at the game of chess, you must mount a
unified effort. If you want to win at the game of business you have
to connect all the dots with interrelationships between departments
or functions to deliver a unified effort to win the hearts and
pocketbooks of prospects and customers.

Opinions are solely the writer’s. Larry Galler, of Larry Galler
Associates, is a marketing and management consultant for
small and mid-size companies. Galler’s award winning business
development program, “One Year to Greatness,” for owners of small-
and mid-size businesses will start with free introductory telephone
seminars on Jan. 11 and 12. For more information e-mail Put “OYTG” in the subject line.