“Many organisations today that struggle with change and fall short of fulfilling their ultimate vision spend countless days, weeks and months – not to mention resources – trying to understand why they can’t seem to circumvent the barriers standing in their way. And often, they can’t quite define what those barriers are.” Brent Gleeson, author of ‘Taking Point’.
Silo; It’s a pesky mentality that has been blocking businesses and organisations from working efficiently, and unlike other trendy business jargon, the term hasn’t shown any sign of disappearing into the depths of a dusty dictionary –- until now.
Over the past few years a quiet revolution has been taking place. Communities and workforce’s are starting to knit back together, employees are slowly regaining the recognition they deserve and the value of team work has come back to the forefront of many people’s mind, thanks to a new wave of interest in good company culture and employee well being.
The highlighting of a good well being mindset and culture within an organisation has been reinforced and has reminded us all that we can’t do everything on our own. And now that school of thinking is challenging and reshaping the workplace. Organisations across the globe are breaking down the hardened, historic walls of silos and are re-embracing the values and results of good internal communications, team work and unity. We are not superhuman, no matter how firmly our bosses think we are.
But how is a silo broken?
Structures need to change
A sense of structure within a workplace is absolutely vital. It sets a pre-defined parameter of operation and explicitly states what is expected and what is accepted of an employee. But too much structure can give a hardened feel to a workplace. So, the first step is to take a look at which internal structures can be softened slightly or be gotten rid of completely.
Mindsets need to shift
As Brent Gleason says in his article for INC.com: “The silo mindset does not appear accidentally nor is it a coincidence that most organisations struggle with interdepartmental turf wars. We must address the fact that organisational silos can also be the result of a conflicted leadership team, and that conflict trickles down causing unrest and employees becoming fearful of sticking their necks out.”
It is vital to create more meaningful relationship throughout the internal hierarchy system within a business. The positive effects from creating those relationships will spread throughout the organisation, ultimately improving trust and encourage willingness to regularly share information. It also begins the process of opening up the channels for good internal communication allowing everyone to align with one common goal.
Internal communications needs working on
As mentioned above, good internal communication is key to the breaking down of any silo. By definition, a silo is the state of isolation. By utilising and by reinforcing the use of good internal communications the state of isolation can be broken and the silo can be combated.
It may seem that breaking down a silo is simple, straightforward and easy, and that is because it is. But, it takes time and it takes a certain level of continuous attention to build and to maintain a meaningful sense of community, unity and collaboration. But it is worth it!
So pop the kettle on, brew that coffee and make a conscious effort to re-introduce yourself. You will be happier for doing so.
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