Companies, like anything else, ebb and flow. As new revenue continues to stream in, this equates to growth and the inevitable influx of people and personalities. Growth means new challenges and new opportunities, but it can lead to a more nefarious reality that tends to pop-up throughout several stages of our lives. There are many names and terms for it, but in social sciences, it’s most commonly referred to as “cliques”.
In the corporate world, these manifest in a variety of ways; primarily within departmental circles. While this is a perfectly natural thing for people to do given humans are pack animals, it can lead to some challenges within the social fabric of your organization.
When individual departments or the people within have vested interests in the outcomes of their deliverables, it creates a fine line between competitive drive and siloing. Competitiveness is a good thing as it tends to lead to more impressive results, however siloing can be toxic to company culture. This specifically occurs when ownership of projects and deliverables becomes overly personal. At this stage, individuals involved begin shutting themselves off from the outside world of the organization.
This is when siloing can occur and it’s problematic for a number of reasons. Firstly, it can lead to a narrow view and approach to projects. Without “external” feedback, a group can inherently limit themselves leading to a poorer end result. From a personnel standpoint, it can also lead to exclusions and jealousy among peers. If a team member finds themselves on the outside looking in, they could begin to harbor feelings of jealousy, anxiety and even anger.
The GOOD NEWS is, you can leverage the following items to help avoid the silo effect:
Communication: More often than not, we get so wrapped up in our individual assignments and objectives that we forget about the collateral damage we could be creating by shutting ourselves out. Maintaining a consistent line of communication between peers is vital for both your own personal sanity as well as allowing others to feel included in the process. Whether it’s regular town hall meetings or company-wide communication tools, the concept of organizational transparency is vital to the long-term health of any company, big or small.
Transparency: The culture within the organization is crucial to this as well. There needs to be an understanding from the highest level that trickles down to everyone. It’s that feeling of overall transparency that comes from keeping people in the loop. This idea of mi casa es su casa specific to accessing others is so important, especially as organizations grow in profit and people.
Technology: At IMI, we leverage technology tools to understand the pulse of the organization. Simply asking our staff how they are feeling on a scale of 1 to 5 after each week allows us to generate valuable data to help manage company sentiment.
After all, success and failure should be shared among everyone. It was Henry Ford that once said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
Hard to argue with that.