Publication number: ELQ-26266-1
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How to break down the barriers in a company and stamp out departmental (and geographic) silos?
“Break the silos of an organisation”, “work in project mode” or even “break down the barriers of departments”.
“Break the silos of an organisation”, “work in project mode” or even “break down the barriers of departments”. Surely you have already heard these very trendy expressions in recent years🗣. With the digital arrival, our society has evolved, bringing a change in our ways of consuming, but also in the way we work, which has changed the very organisation of companies📱👨🏽💻.
Today, the traditional world of work where every team is compartmentalised tends to disappear in favour of global collaboration🌎🤝. What does this really mean? And how can you break down the barriers of your business?🧐
Breaking down the barriers of a business: yes but why?
In fact, in a business that works in silos, every team works on their tasks✔️ and projects without worrying about their impact on other departments👤. There is no information or resource sharing, and no cross-communication, or in other words, the departments do not communicate or communicate minimally with each other🗣🚫. The hierarchical system is very present and management is pyramidal🔺, that is to say that responsibility is taken away from employees and their independence and creativity is curbed📉.
This type of organisation usually ends with duplication of tasks, lost time and often financial losses⌛️💰. In short, it is an obsolete way of working that harms global performance of the company and is not adapted to the digital transformation that we are currently living💻📲.
Today, businesses who want to be more high performing and productive should completely rethink their work methods and encourage collaboration between departments🤝👥. This is called operating in project mode.
This type of organisation has many advantages, such as :
• the achievement of the overall objects of the company ;
• better visibility and better communication between departments ;
• a collaboration that is encouraged within the company ;
• more flexibility and reactivity ;
• lack of a hierarchy and more accountability for employees ;
• circulation and sharing of information
If you want to stamp out departmental silos in your business too, follow this guide✅.
5 tips for breaking down the barriers in your business
In practice, it is not easy to get out of a traditional hierarchical organisation. This involves changing the culture of the business as well as the work methods🗒. Here’s how to do it.
- Step n°1 |
Communicate a vision and common objectives
Generally, in organisations in silos, employees concentrate on their individual objectives and the objectives of their team, and they lose view of the global objectives of the business🌎. Often, some departments even feel in competition with one another and rather than collaborating🏆🥊, they will intentionally retain information to put their ‘rivals’ in difficulty.
An attitude like this harms the success of projects and the success of the business📉. To avoid it, you should clearly communicate the common vision and long-term objectives of the company as well as the way in which each department should participate on this collective vision🗣🧠.
Thanks to this overview, each team and each employee will learn their place within the organisation, their contribution to reaching the objectives of the business as well as the place and role of the other employees and other departments👥👫.
- Step n°2 |
Encourage collaboration between teams
To stamp out departmental silos, you need to encourage teams to work and interact together on the common objectives set beforehand👫.
For this, regularly organise joint meetings and discussion groups where every employee gets to know the members of other teams🤝, their role and how they can work together towards achieving the objectives of the business📊🚩.
The breaking down of barriers in a company is also physical and also includes a better organisation of the premises🏢. The era where marketing is on the first floor, the IT service on the second and accounting on the third has been revolutionised📲. Reorganise offices by encouraging a collaborative environment where departments mix with each other to avoid all isolation and facilitate the spreading of information💡.