Don’t break down your silos! Do this instead…
People, the issue IS NOT “silos”.
The real issue is alignment.
Alignment. What is it? What does it mean? Why is it vital within your organization?
Let’s start with a definition: “…the proper positioning of parts (think people/employees/teams) in relation to each other…”
I love this definition when applied to business because of what it doesn’t say as much as what it does. It doesn’t say everyone doing the same thing. It doesn’t say everyone thinking the same, acting the same, marching mindlessly the same.
It says the proper positioning of parts. Parts are individual. They serve different purposes and do different things. The engine in your car is not the transmission. But they need to work in alignment for your car to move.
There’s lots of stuff out there about breaking down silos. I get it. The implication is multiple silos within an organization that aren’t communicating or working on a shared purpose.
But I don’t believe the issue is silos. Silos are the “parts.” Marketing. HR. Sales. IT. Customer service. Accounting. Fulfillment. We could go on but you get the picture. These are the parts of a business. Your business would likely struggle of your IT experts were also responsible for sales and service. Yikes!
These parts…silos are necessary. But even more necessary is alignment.
According to National Brake & Alignment dot com here’s what happens if your wheels are not aligned…
“When the wheels of the car are not aligned there is uneven pressure on the tires. They tend to push against each other. When that happens the car faces uneven friction and much more resistance from the road surface. … It results in the tire becoming bald on one side.”
Does any of that sound like your organization? People pushing against one another? Friction? Resistance? Balding? (I had to include that one for comic relief.)
Your problem is not silos. Rather it is a lack of alignment towards a common goal. A purpose. A mission.
Build your organization around a common purpose. Provide a clear vision as to why that purpose is important. Support it and your people with core values that drive every one of their decisions.
Do all this and you will achieve alignment.
Your people will pull together. Your environment will be frictionless and there will be far less resistance among the parts (silos) of your organization.