Manage the system, not silos | Beyond Marketing |

I’ve heard that if you cut a hologram into pieces, each piece contains all the information of the whole.  I’ve never tried it, but I like the idea that each part is a microcosm of the whole thing.

In working with three senior teams in three entirely different sectors over the past month, I’ve heard someone in each of these teams, during the course of the work, utter these words, “We are a microcosm of what is going on in the rest of the business.”  They elaborate, “If we don’t get our house in order, how can we expect the rest of the business to work better together?”  The theme is silos at work and making efforts to work more collaboratively and cooperatively.  In each of these contexts, I shared one of my favourite analogies for silos; it’s as if the organs within my body are fighting each other for primacy.  They are inextricably linked and interdependent, each having their own specialisation and each requiring the other to be at their best, however it’s bizarre to imagine that one organ is more important than the other and that if I had the healthiest heart in the world, the whole of my body would functioning at its optimal level.  In the past, I have heard those who interface directly with customers say to folks who don’t, “If it wasn’t for us doing the real work, you wouldn’t have jobs.”  Imagine my digestive tract saying to my heart, “If I didn’t take in nourishment, you wouldn’t have a job.”  Pshaw.