Within any organization, there are bound to be organizational silos, they can be within global corporations or start-up with 10 employees. No matter the size, they are unfavorable to an organization’s ability to succeed in a rapidly changing world. They come in variety of flavors including;
- Geographical Silos – arise with difficulty in collaborating when different parts of the organization are in different geographical locations.
- Project Silos – occur when best practice information isn’t shared between groups working in similar ways towards similar goals.
- Functional Silos – arise when there is uncertainty about peoples’ roles within an organization and lead to redundancy and feelings of under appreciation among members.
- Technology Silos – occur when technology isn’t or cannot be shared among members of an organization.
- Information Silos – exist due to barriers in sharing of information freely across organization.
Silos can only create chaos, the bigger the company, the more harmful a role silos play. Silos create an environment where sharing and collaborating is virtually impossible. Problems of silos show up in duplication of cost and effort, working at cross purposes, lack of synergy, little knowledge transfer or economies of scale. The largest problem, however, is a lack of alignment with the overall company strategy.
Whether your organization has data accessibility silos or cultural silos, implementing a Team Collaboration Software or a Enterprise Social Intranet with the right amount of business process re-engineering and organizational change management can be one of the best ways to break through these isolating barriers & increase collaboration within your organization. Here are 6 reasons to break out of your organization’s silos;
1. Enable cross purposes/cross functional collaboration
Silos cut off clear communication between different business units. People can fall easily into only communicating with those directly around them or those who are at the same level in the organization. When there is little or unclear communication between departments, the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.A Collaboration tool or a social Intranet can help track important resources at your fingertips, track employee sentiment, hear crucial feedback, enable a culture of sharing, speed up business collaboration, etc.
2. Reduction in duplication of work
Silo’s results in overlapping functions, increased costs, duplicated efforts and inconsistent decisions among entities. Effective use of a Collaboration/Intranet platform to promote openness, build inclusivity, facilitate effective communication which can reduce the chances of tasks repetition and improve efficiency through better coordination resulting in cost savings, efforts, empowerment of employees by giving them a “voice”.
3. Knowledge retention
The knowledge of each employee at an organization is an invaluable company asset and the combined knowledge of a company is truly the engine that drives results however enormous amounts of useful information is being trapped in information silos, such as email inboxes. Many companies have a limited understanding of organizational expertise or talent because the right information either is not collected, or not available to the right people at the right time to make the right decisions. Integrating collaboration tools into knowledge management systems can increase interactions between employees, which can in turn increase their level of trust and encourage more effective collaboration and communication.
4. Collective potential of team & organization
In an economy that places ever-increasing demands on a leaner workforce, maximizing resources through high-impact collaboration can have a tremendous impact on productivity, breaking down Silos offers leaders a wide range of tools and strategies to bring out the collective potential of their team and organization as a whole.
5. Continuous Productivity
Continuous productivity manifests itself as an environment where a Collaboration software or a social Intranet culture can make it possible to innovate more and faster than ever, it shifts our efforts from the start/stop world of episodic work and provides us a chance at a more balanced view of time management because we operate in a rhythm with tools to support that rhythm. You can simply be more effective as an individual, team, and organization.