Academics, consultants and business leaders started talking about organizational “silos” more than two decades ago.
Apart from a bit of hand-wringing and well-intentioned town halls and all-employee get togethers, little has been done to make it better. In fact, the evidence suggests that organizational silos are getting taller, thicker and stronger.
At FOCUS, we help our clients break down silos – and prevent them from being built – in three ways:
- To begin, all of our work is done with teams of people. This invites active dialogue and transparency – no secret deals that, intentionally or not, create barriers and communication blackouts – and put silo-building bricks in place.
- When teams that are significantly interdependent find themselves in a dysfunctional relationship, we bring them together to share their perceptions of the situation and each other, find common ground, and lay out a specific action plan to improve their working relationships.
- Finally, when it becomes clear that performance issues (especially those affecting customers) are the result of flawed processes, we establish cross-functional teams to attack the flaws in those processes, find workable solutions together, and then implement the newer, better way.