I remember the cliques back in high school. There were the cool kids and the geeks, the jocks and the bookworms and so on. Whether or not you wanted to be, you were labeled with something and you were put into a group. Doesn’t it feel sometimes that all we’ve done is take move high school into our businesses and corporations?
In the office we have silos instead of cliques, and those silos prevent any company from reaching its full potential. Maybe your company is doing well, and if so maybe those silos are ignored. But if your company is doing well, imagine how much better things would be if the silos were gone!
Silos rear their ugly heads when things aren’t going so well. People grasp to hold onto whatever they think makes them more valuable to the company. Lack of communication and collaboration between groups runs rampant as efforts are duplicated due to increase of a “self-preservation” attitude. As a result there is a lack of direction, efforts are duplicated or wasted, and money is lost. This is just a very basic example of the damage that silos can cause but over time this can be disastrous for company.
Unfortunately breaking this habit is very hard. It requires good leadership that’s transparent and honest, and not afraid of criticism. It requires a leader that puts the health of the company over selfish ambitions. Most importantly, it requires change over time.
My advice is to take a look at how things operate where you are now, and try to encourage collaboration where you can. Better to right the ship before it starts to sink.
Do you have silos at your company? What are your company’s solution to breaking down the silos?