Avoiding a Silo Mentality…
What needs to happen! Listen here
Put quite simply, with this mindset, people have little interest in understanding their part in the success of the organisation. Many even consider that “Silo Mentality” in business is so common that it can even be considered a fundamental problem of human nature, and thus viewed as another element that Leaders need to manage.
How do you know if this exists within your business? Expect to hear use of the words “them” and “us” …a lack of respect and/or co-operation between business units…sometimes a general lack of standards within a whole business unit.
Silos can develop because of differences in opinion between department leaders over priorities. No different to unit teams having to develop a feeling of togetherness and unity, its incumbent that the Leaders need to put to one side their own differences and personal gains, and become one strong team in their own right.
If we then accept that Silos can exist across the board in different pockets, what must happen?
Clearly, challenging conversations are needed and the requirement to sit down with both key Leaders/Influencers and those who are considered “outside” the core ethos of the business. A need for openness and honesty…Heal the wounds and start again…Then…
- Encourage more communication between units and teams, including working together on company challenges. Employees get to know each other, gain exposure to other areas of the company and perhaps even “Sales” may have ideas about “Service” and vice-versa
- Get rid of red tape and formality. Eliminate bureaucracy and make decision making more transparent
- Be comfortable in challenging the “we have always done it this way” mentality
- Allow access to data and information across units…Everyone must feel involved
- Encourage units to spend time together both formally and informally, encouraging cross-functional teams to come together
- Share mutual success stories and work together on shared problems
Do you have pockets of silos…do you know? What actions will you take?
“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”