SILOS - BLEND IT, NOT BUST IT
Wouldn't it be great to know what's happening around you? Of course, it would! As humans, we have learnt to build human connections with the information we possess. Paradoxically though, we have developed a protective attitude about it. Now imagine what would happen if employees within the organization don't share information?
Silo is a metaphor representing isolated employees at work, identical to the isolated grains in huge containers. It's a behaviour of hoarding information, goals, and processes from the other groups working with them. Working in silos means having a slow death. It is the subconscious behaviour of employees that progressively harms productivity, communication, innovation, morale, and ultimately killing the organization's culture. The reason I say subconscious is that silo is not a result of their reluctance to cooperate but because they are clueless about the value of the information they hold. Surprisingly, all businesses, big or small, experience silos. To top it all, a silo leader is a significant contributor. Such leaders are majorly concerned about their department but not about the overall business health. Sadly, they forget the bigger picture. To overcome this, a true leader must use his superpowers and bring in collaboration with the other teams. Such collaboration is proven most effective, as it increases the overall business performance. It helps the employees understand that 'them' and 'us' is just farce when looking at success. The only thing that fits in is 'we'.
FACT CHECK: In a recent study by salesforce, 70% of CX (customer experience) professionals view silo mentality as a predominant hurdle in providing excellent customer service. The same study also revealed that 73% of the sales teams believe that cross-collaboration enhances their sales performance. That’s right! The solution is right there.
If I may say so, silo is not anti-hero! The organizational goal is split into smaller chunks, to make work achievable and efficient. This, for years, has proven to make 'tighter groups' that are directionally aligned. It results in the creation of sub-cultures, followed by members developing pride and a sense of belonging. So, here's the thing, is busting silos really a good idea? Maybe not.
In my opinion, while everyone is busting silos, why not think of blending it all? Wise men would take the best of both! While collaboration is undoubtedly the key, respecting silo to an extent is also essential. To make this effective, management gurus suggest the 5W1H approach. Questioning each department's existence with who, what, why, where, when, and how (5W1H) helps build trust and makes you capable of seeing the bigger picture. Besides, companies make collaboration easier by providing hot-desks, common rest areas, and open working spaces that contribute to building inter employee relationships.
⚡ Hot Desks– The practice of providing a pool of desks and allowing employees to work anywhere in the office, providing space for cross-team collaboration!
To sum it up, siloed workgroups can cause destruction provided it is not under control. And to make it work, collaboration unquestionably is the elixir. Use the silo effect to your advantage, and it is - a happily ever after! 😉