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The Key to Breaking Down Silos in the Workplace- Desire!

June 25, 2014

intranetIt is part of the human ‘wiring’ to want to connect. Scientists and psychologists alike have proven that individuals who have meaningful connections are healthier and happier.

Well what if I told you that the key to your work happiness is your desire and willingness to connect across the ‘silos’ ?

Many organizations are striving to reach a 2020 workplace by being more agile, being more innovation and collaborative and leaders know that it is these very attributes that are going to keep them in business.

Silos will never completely go away especially in large organizations, departments and specialty functions are a necessary part of corporate. However the most dynamic and quick to change companies will achieve cross pollination between silos and integrated work teams that include members of all departments.  So how do we break down silos?

It comes down to each person thinking outside of themselves and his or her own role and own function. It requires a mindset shift towards being collaborative and wanting to work with others to improve processes, products or customer solutions.

If every person in a company had the ‘desire’ to break down silos by reaching out to their legal team before beginning a project, or reaching out to sales for their input on a new IT program or reaching out to operations to find out the pathways to success we would have one of the most agile companies in the world.

How do we instill this desire? It comes from repetitive communication of success stories, videos of cross silo collaboration within the company, having HR come up with incentives and rewards for teams who model ‘breaking down the silos’ behaviors, it comes from leaders modelling the behaviors of reaching out to other departments.

Many companies already have the technology to help with minimizing silos but many fail to maximize their intranets, their internal social media or connecting people with common purpose and interests within the company.

There is a great concept out of the UK where an app was developed to connect people for lunch or coffee within a large organization the website is:

So where is your desire? If your desire is to be more engaged, to have more fun at work, to feel more connected and to contribute in more meaningful ways then you are well on your way to being part of the solution of breaking down silos.

Check out this video excerpt on the subject from a recent keynote in Dallas, TX


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