Harnessing Business Silos to Accelerate Strategy Execution
Business silos are prevalent in the corporate world. They drive managers through the roof, wreak havoc in departments, and can even jeopardize a whole corporation’s operations. Silos have been around since the beginning of industrialization, and probably won’t be vanishing anytime soon. That’s because humans are social beings, and they instinctively form subgroups at all levels. Even leaders have social circles, consisting of members of same social status.
Business silos naturally form as groups of employees in the same departments or levels. At first, they are usually harmless cliques. However, as the bonds strengthen, they tend to team up, raise grievances, and work toward orchestrating plans to fight perceived enemies.
When employees in a silo get irked by the management, there is nothing much they can do but complain through the appropriate channels. These complaints can later be resolved, and work goes on as usual. However, when employees turn against each other, or when business silos in different dockets declare war against their counterparts, little can be done to salvage the situation. Let’s look at some of the reasons why.
Business silos are formed when friends and colleagues come together to form a circle with good intentions, but then an action or event causes them to go rogue. Once they do so, it may take time for the management to get a whiff of the whole thing, because silos tend to prefer cold war and sabotage rather than all-out confrontation. By the time the leaders learn that silos are at war, the damage has been done and the corporation is receiving the biggest blows.
How Business Silos Work.
How does a silo war turn into sabotage? Let’s say a silo in the finance department is at war with a silo in the procurement department. The procurement silo may deliberately fail to communicate a crucial directive to the finance department, which leads to an order that is not paid for on time. The finance department consequently receives a scolding from the supervisors. Well, when a silo realizes that their department is under attack, they hatch a plan, and soon a revenge mission is underway. In this example, the finance department may decide to undercut the procurement department without telling their supervisors. The result is that the firm suffers lost hours and materials, and has underutilized labor, all of which translate into losses for the corporation.
An employer may decide to release all the employees in silos and begin afresh, but losing the most experienced personnel all at once may result in massive skills gaps. As such, harnessing business silos, steering them from their conflicts and indoctrinating them to increase productivity is the optimal strategy for a corporation. It is not easy to pull this one off, though, and it calls for excellent planning. You do not want all these silos turning against the leadership.
Use Leadership Development.
Leadership development is a tool that can be relied upon to not only tame but convert business silos into groups of zealous employees striving toward improved productivity. Business-acumen training incorporates leadership training that is specially tailored to enlighten and provide solutions for business silos.
Training leaders is a necessary and important step toward taming business silos in your firm, turning them into highly motivated silos that are ready to meet and exceed set targets. Business-acumen training furnishes leaders with skills that enable them to recognize the types of business silos in the workforce, their wrangles, and the formulation of strategies that will distract them from their wars. Perhaps most importantly, it will channel that motivation toward meeting deliberately set goals, for deliberately set rewards.
Hands-On Learning Such as Business Simulations.
Many corporate leaders and managers have not yet been exposed to simulated hands-on training. This explains why challenges like business silos keep catching them unawares. Business-acumen training can help transform leaders from regular managers into experts with advanced skills, who have the ability to discern problems and prepare for future challenges.
Business training simulations help leaders develop their skills in a risk-free platform, where they learn what would work or fail for the corporation. Business simulations for leadership development provide leaders with conflict-resolution expertise and give them the tools to persuade employees to use their energy to work toward a common goal instead of in smothering enemy silos. This kind of leadership requires ingenuity, tact and expertise, all of which business simulations can deliver. The result will be employees with more vigor and determination to help the organization as a whole, rather than their silos. These are the ingredients that result in increased productivity, higher-quality products and services, more satisfied clients and greater sales.