"...allowed their culture to dictate their obsolescence." says Peter Campbell in his post about the Silo Situation.
It reads like a preview for a Hollywood script written by John Grisham starring John Cusak. It all seemed simple enough, the organization had the right hopes, the right mission and the right people but somewhere along the way they "...allowed their culture to dictate their obsolescence." This is the story of the one man who witnessed the whole bizarre series of events....
I have worked in a couple organizations where this Silo Situation was rampant. Each department, each team was so self sufficient that you would have no idea they were all one organization. But they were each successful and funding was flowing. So why question success? Why question what is working?
The silos were created because a grant was funding the program, so the team worked in an isolated group. Or this was a pilot program and needed to be secluded in case it didnt work. Or staff performance is only reviewed based on individual and department success. Or culture encouraged hoarding of information to gain power. Or leadership played favorites and kept secrets. There are so many reasons silos start.
We rest on our current and past success which clouds our ability to see the "silo situation." At the organizations I worked at you could always hear whispers about how bad the silos were. But no one was willing to speak up, because those that did had faded off into the sunset. Suddenly though a big change happened, a funding problem, a crisis, change in leadership or whatever. Then one day we are all wearing buttons that say "silo busters." The org is buzzing with rhetoric and focus groups to destroy the silos. But don't we store all of our grain in silos? (sorry couldn't resist the random comment, just seeing if you are still reading)
When will we learn that collaboration is not new and is not a buzz word? Please don't let life get in the way of finding the silos in your org.
And oh yeah, go read Peter Campbell's AWESOME post! (this time I will remember the link... sorry Peter)