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Thoughts

Solving Work Problems: Avoiding the Workplace Silo

We’ve been talking a lot at Rocksauce about cross-department collaboration. It was inspired by the notion of the workplace silo being of the main destructive factors in creating an effective and efficient solution.

In fact, we’ve been celebrating every Monday as a Pizza & Processes where anyone can contribute to solving work problems at Rocksauce. It has been inspiring to watch the team work together. We’ve started putting our own ethos of design thinking at work in our own environment. Practicing stepping outside of our departments and even risk getting our toes stepped on. Our UX team, who handles the beginnings of any project that comes through Rocksauce Studios, ideated and spearheaded this process entirely and it’s exciting to see it through.

Create a unified vision of team collaboration. Silo mentality begins with management.

Ultimately the leadership team must understand the company’s long term goals, department objectives, and key initiatives before passing the unified vision down to the teams. The unified leadership team can be the vehicles of encouraging trust, creating empowerment, and breaking teams out of the “my department” mentality and into the “our organization” mentality.

Work toward common goals using collaboration tools.

A common problem of silo mentality is that your team may see things from their perspective and are very likely to make choices that protect their department rather than protecting the company. To combat this challenge, each person in the organization can be challenged to work toward common goals. When people across the company understand and have the same objectives, they are more likely to communicate better.

Educate, work, and train together.

Another effective way to break down silos is to educate, work, and train together in cross-functional exercises. In addition to collaborative training, the silo mentality can also be eradicated through inter-company interactions. Other possible activities include regularly holding town halls to point out the dangers of working in silos and outlining a plan together to change the culture to increase cooperation, communication, and collaboration.

Communicate often.

Withholding details from your team members may feel like a good idea. But if you aren’t communicating your story about why and how you’re doing what you’re doing people who aren’t “in the know” will make up their own stories — and they will probably be negative. Fostering collaboration among the different teamss will be able to make better-informed decisions, serve customers better, and ultimately, increase sales.

 

In our experiences, when businesses can break down the silos and start sharing information within the company, the entire organization benefits. For example, a retailer who shares the information on inventory, customer service interactions, internal costs, and shipping. We have seen potential problems completely avoided and customer service and satisfaction improved.

At Rocksauce, we break down the silo mentality by facilitating design thinking workshops. We involve stakeholders and key decisionmakers from every department. This ensures that every voice, view, and process is heard through to facilitate true collaboration. This, in turn, breaks down the workplace silo. In addition, we also pilot, create and develop new ideas, solutions, and software for companies and ideas big or small. Reach out to us today to see how an innovation or design sprint workshop can encourage goal-setting, ideation, and innovation at your company.

 

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