One of the biggest obstacles to organisational harmony is when teams, departments, business areas, and individual directors are influenced by single minded thinking. Rather than looking at the bigger picture: they will look at the impact on a single agenda. This can have a negative impact as quite often it is a barrier to good decision making.
The ‘silo mentality’ is a difficult one. Often in organisations departments will find themselves competing against each other for resources or influence. Every organisation has a common goal, but the journey to it can be layered with conflicts and challenges.
Departmental silos are slightly different to individual ones, and easier to resolve. Each department in an organisation will have differing agendas. There will be areas of deliverables that cross functions: and this can create territorial challenges.
Individual silos are far more difficult to resolve. They tend to exist at a senior level and a classic symptom is ‘empire building’ within an organisation. This can occur when a senior leader has a specific area of responsibility; and they are focused on that one goal and don’t buy in to the collective vision.
This can also be a symptom of significant change within a business: an example could be where position and influence are diluted during a phase of growth.
Beating the silo mentality is vital to creating a unified culture; here are 4 tips that I have found useful in managing silos:
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