A word of warning- if you are a fan of silos I suggest you do not read this post. There may be instances where business silos have a positive effect, but on balance I see them as an impediment to growth, prosperity and satisfaction. So let's tear down those silos.
In my previous postSilos- They're Everywhere I talked about how silos are formed and the impact they have upon the workplace. Today I will look at how we can remove them from the workplace.
Before you tear the silos down you’ll want to establish that they are having a negative effect on your business. This negativity can be identified in a variety of ways, the most apparent of which is lack of cooperation, congruity, effectiveness and efficiency between departments and as a result, in the business as a whole.
If silos are impeding the achievement of your business goals and contributing to a toxic workplace action is needed. There are a number of techniques that can be employed but most important is communication; specifically, communication concerning company vision, interdependence and achievement of goals. A business is built around specific goals. Based upon these goals, individuals (and departments) are assigned tasks and goals of their own, each of which supports meeting the broader company goals. Eliminating silos requires that business leaders and managers ensure that all staff understand and acknowledge that this is an interdependent process. Said another way, the goals of the individual and of departments are vital, but the achievement of collective goals matters most. The idea is to educate staff as to their importance in the "scheme of things" and to reinforce that their contributions are essential but not exclusive.
You must also provide evidence of the negative effects that have resulted from the silo effect and clearly state that these conditions are unacceptable. Finally, take steps to monitor the result of this intervention, focusing not on the behavior per se but on the return to a state of effective and efficient interdepartmental activities that support your business goals.