Silos — Break Down Barriers

If there is one important thing I’ve learned after joining a large organisation, it is that a we-culture in the company is absolutely vital and ignoring turf wars or, even better, breaking down the barriers of silos is worth every effort — even if you have to work “against” your Team-Lead, Department-Head or Executive Team.

In my career I was told to “ignore everyone here and just interact with the team” or “department XYZ is terrible, we will hire people for the same roles and do it our way”. Most of the time it was my boss telling me this and I was thinking… this can’t be the way he or anyone above him wants this company to work… do they? It’s toxic. I said ok, and did something else.

There is nothing more hostile to achieving a common goal than silos

Silos waste resources, kill productivity, and jeopardise the achievement of said goals. Honestly, if there are big bad silos in your organisation, chances are the employees in these silos are not even working towards the same goal. While most of todays leaders within an organisation will agree that silos are bad, a lot of them still act in support of them. They refuse to share knowledge, ignore other teams needs or advice, do their own thing and “protect” everyone within their team. I’ve experienced this a lot myself and the only advice I can give is to do different.

Get to know people from the other departments, join the same training programs, organise meet-up sessions where you share your teams problems and solutions, ask for advice from other colleagues and departments, invite them for feedback (they have an area of expertise you can learn from, I swear). At some point you will find like-minded people that would love to spread collaboration — let them join your efforts.
Even the leaders which act counter-productive to this will thank you for it when they realise the why and the benefits. Nobody — NOBODY — wants to be known for promoting silos. Use this.

Having all employees rowing in the same direction will make your organisation productive as hell and unstoppable in achieving your goals.