Monday, January 25, 2016

Silo Effect: How to Breakdown the Barriers

Silo mentality is fundamentally about keeping the mind static and keeping the people separate rather than keeping work separate.

There are different definitions of the silo, by nature, it’s about isolation. The segmenting or sectioning of work by skill/knowledge/type/etc is a necessary component of complex work or large workplaces. But silo mentality is fundamentally about keeping the mind static and keeping the people separate rather than keeping work separate. So what are different angles to understand silo effect, and how to break down the barriers to run a digital organization?

Silo Effect: How to Break down the Barriers

  • Is Silo Eating your Strategy for dinner: Many of us like the witty quote from Drucker: “culture eats strategy for lunch.” The strategy is indeed in the face of more risks than culture, could it be the SILO – the symptom of industrial management mindset will eat your strategy for dinner?

  • The Silo Effect in IT Management: There are more than two-thirds of IT projects fail to achieve the expected result. IT organizations are suffering too much from the "siloed" effect to accurately define and deliver the promises of many IT projects. The "failure" of an IT project can be defined as (1) Completely behind schedule, (2) Beyond the budget, and (3) Fails to deliver the value or services which the project was promised to deliver. There are many reasons for these things to happen, silo thinking in decision making is one of the significant root causes project failures and low-level IT maturity.
  • Is Hierarchy Good or Bad for Systems?  Systems Thinking is the ability to think the "whole," and understand the interconnectivity of its parts as well. As complexity is pushing the boundaries of the thinking and traditional systems, what we do know is "that larger and more complicated systems" do not have the requisite agility to adapt to more complex and adaptive environments. The more nonlinear, interconnected, and interdependent the environment, where uncertainty and emergence become more prevalent, hence accelerated rates of change, the less likely ordered hierarchical systems are to be the answer due to the rigidity. Hence, we need to adapt to the Systems Thinking and reimagine the digital organizational structure to break down the barriers.

  • The Cause and Effect of Silos? Silo is perhaps one of the most paradoxical symptoms in running business in the industrial era, on one side, most of the organizations are still operating in the functional base to improve efficiency; on the other side, the digital nature of hyperconnectivity and interdependence makes it inevitable to break down the silo, because more often than not, the silo thinking becomes the root cause of ineffective leadership; the silo team fragment the strategy, stagnate execution, motivate the unhealthy internal competition and cause more problems than benefits. More specifically, what's the cause and effect of silos and silo thinking?

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