verb: silo; 3rd person present: siloes; past tense: siloed; past participle: siloed; gerund or present participle: siloing
- isolate (one system, process, department, etc.) from others.
Silos are a common problem for organisations. A PwC survey indicates that 55 percent of companies work in silos, with each function making its own decisions on which capabilities matter most. Furthermore, three out of five companies (61 percent) say the solution to reaching their strategic goals is more collaboration across functions, paired with faster decision making. And yet, only a third (36 percent) of these companies prioritize cross-functional capabilities at the company level and expect functional leaders to identify how they contribute to the mission. This is tantamount to saying “the boat is going down. We know how to fix it, but we expect you work it out for yourselves.”
Silos prevent growth
A happy workforce creates happy customers. Silos create dysfunctional intercompany relations, with an obvious knock-on effect for customers and ultimately, your mission. 40% of respondents to an econsultancy survey indicated they were not “adequately supported by other members of the organisation to reach your customer experience aims.” If your company is working in silos, and even one of your competitors is not, what is the real cost to you, your customers, your organisation and your shareholders?
Collaborate to win
Collaboration is clearly linked to productivity and engagement. A Stanford University study found that even feeling like you are collaborating can yield performance increases: those who were asked to work collaboratively stuck to their task 64% longer than those working in silos.
Another study found that companies who promote collaborative ways of working are 500% more likely to be high performing.
4 quick tips to create a collaborative environment
1) Align your goals
Different teams have different agendas. If your teams are misaligned, consider a regular communication process to create and maintain top-down alignment. Every team’s goals and every individual’s contributions should roll up to your mission, vision
2) Understand your skills ecosystem
It is hard to align on goals and responsibilities across teams based on a list of job titles and office locations. Do you have an accurate view of the skills required for a goal, versus those you have available today? Tools like Kalido can show you the skills you have access to in
3) Communicate effectively
Effective collaboration requires effective communication, starting at the top. The volume of communication media we use today (email, instant messaging, etc.) can easily drown signals in noise. Kalido enables network owners to send broadcasts for critical messages, where replies are only seen by the admin, allowing receipt of valuable feedback while eliminating endless response chains. Users can also call, message, and share content with each other within and between networks.
4) Be agile
While agile principles are synonymous with software development, companies are now adopting the philosophy across functions to enable teams to align on goals, deliver faster, and enable a better customer experience. User stories, sprints, and standups put the customer at the heart of decision-making, allowing each individual and team to have their say and play their part in a common direction.
At Kalido, we hear every day that fostering effective collaboration is hard. That’s why we help organisations and communities of all shapes and sizes to understand more about their colleagues, make more meaningful connections and collaborate quickly. If you feel like your company is part of the 55% who feel they work in silos, get in touch.