Knocking Down Silos


Many of us are still sheltering in place and relying on technology to connect us. In some ways, the challenge of crossing boundaries is easier because we are eager to talk to someone other than the folks with whom we are sheltering. On the flip side, we’ve narrowed our audiences and our conversations to the matter at hand – potentially erecting and cementing the silos we work in towards our desire to get something done. And then, there’s something larger happening. Companies are shifting their product lines to help provide goods and services to fight COVID-19. They aren’t just crossing silos, they’re knocking them down for the greater good.

What can we take away from this as we move forward? For me, it’s that when an entire organization is focused on the same outcome, silos can become obsolete structures. When people with diverse experiences and skills bring their creativity, adaptability and agility, the playing field expands. When silos are eliminated, the entire team is focused on the same goal line.Every member of the team has value and is depended upon by other team members … and the ball is passed back and forth as new plays are called. The intent is to keep moving forward, always keeping your eye on that goal – even knowing there will be setbacks.

The challenge for us going forward is in the choices we will make when we return to our former rhythms. Will we resist returning to the way things were or use this opportunity to create something better? I vote for better … where the silos remain obsolete, the team is united in a common goal, and every position is important. What are you willing to sign up for?

This Week: Reflect on what is working and what isn’t. What’s your part in it? What do you want to keep going forward? What do you want to change? Start a running list. Come up with 1-3 ideas and jot them down. Have some “what if” conversations with your team. Widen the conversation to other teams in your organization. This is a prime time of creation and setting a way forward. Don’t waste it.

In Next Week’s Post: Change Is a Constant (Crisis or Opportunity?)

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