The silo effect refers to when separate departments or teams don't communicate with each other – they operate almost independently.
One of the reasons this can happen is due to conflicting priorities from different departments. A classic example is between sales and marketing – sales needs to bring in leads and revenue, while marketing may be more focused on building brand awareness. This can lead to not only misfires between departments, but also ineffective outcomes. For example, the marketing team creates brochures that the sales team do not need or cannot use.
“Breaking down silos starts with understanding. Teams must consider what the goals are of other departments or groups,” said Stuart Harris, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Team Building Asia. “This empathy doesn’t miraculously happen. It needs to be built and fostered with activities and processes that create real collaboration.”
To help you out of your silos, we’ve come up with 7 tips -- start collaborating in an effective way today!
- Lead by example. Managers can set the example for the rest of the team.
- Be proactive. Silos happen when people aren’t motivated or incentivised to reach out and improve communication.
3.Visit people (in real life). Nothing helps more than sitting next to someone and discussing issues. A good video connection is the next best thing.
4. Bring back the ‘water cooler’. Help team members connect by giving them a dedicated space or area that is always open. For teams not in the same office consider an always-on video conferencing set up.
5. Cross-functional groups with common goals. Aligned goals help teams work together.
- Adopt the right tools. Email is not a great communication tool – consider instant chat or similar tools like Slack, to help with communication.
- Clarify responsibilities and roles. If there are different departments working on a task, it is vital that everyone knows exactly what their role is, the goals and deadlines, and what lines of communication they should use.
We create tailored programmes for businesses wanting to empower their teams so they better understand each other and work towards a common goal. One of our products is our dynamic Orchestrate programme. In the space of 90 minutes, Orchestrate will turn your team, musical or not, into a real symphony orchestra.
Apart from having fun, this helps your teams:
- Stimulate creativity
- Explore excellence
- Understand each other
- Improve team dynamics and unite new or merged teams
- Visualise the future
Drop us a line to hear how we’ve worked with other businesses to break down their silos.