What Is Silo Syndrome?

Published on:

June 3, 2014

Silos on a building outside depicting silo syndrome

Does your company suffer from the dreaded “Silo Syndrome”? Do you ask yourself on a regular basis how effective your internal communication and interaction is? And whether it is or not, does it matter when it comes to the bottom line and business growth?

At Awardaroo we contend it does.

What is Silo Syndrome?

In all aspects of life and business, we like to belong. We find people with similar interests and form groups based on like mindedness. We can’t help it! Whether it’s in sport, entertainment, business or hobbies, shorthand springs up within the group, & there are little markers that show you are part of a team. You know the lingo, you identify with the symbols and you know what is going on within the “walls”.

You are a tribe in the words of Seth Godin. He argues that the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. How do you harness that for the good in your business and for business growth?

Whether it’s PC vs Mac, Man Utd v Liverpool or even Bond v Bourne, you know what’s going on within your group – you know what you’re supposed to think. All is well. You might know all there is to know about the new Apple iPhone 5S, but the Samsung Galaxy remains a mystery (or vice versa). This might not be a problem in daily life, but take the same attitudes into business growth or business development, and it’s a killer.

How to Counteract Silo Syndrome

This attitude in business is known as “silo syndrome”. Each department may do their job extremely well, but they are cut off from other departments, like grain silos – all in a row, all doing their job, but with no connection to each other.

Your IT department may have developed & delivered the best system ever – one that will improve your customer service standards and make you a flagship in the industry. Great. If they don’t identify this feature to the Marketing department, the word won’t get out to any interested parties. If they don’t tell the Sales Department, it can’t be used as a feature to increase sales, close the deal or to enthuse existing clients with the knowledge that they have chosen the correct company to deal with. If the full features aren’t explained to the Customer Service department, customer service excellence cannot possibly be at its full potential. Collaboration is key.

Successful Business Growth

It’s not about the information that you hold, it’s what you do with it that will demolish any hint of Silo Syndrome within your organisation. Think of your operation as an online map – you can see a whole country at a glance, but if you could enlarge it and get a crystal clear view of a house on a street, you’d be in a far better position to make the decisions that affect the outcome of your actions.

Sharing information between departments, & engendering a culture where each department can see how they benefit from that means that everyone knows their part in increasing sales. No one department remains a mystery to another, and all can see where they fit in the big picture – which is of course, successful business growth – Better Performance, Better Results, Better Profitability. We can help you with all three with our business improvement programme.

About Paul Freudenberg

Paul Freudenberg is a business productivity coach and consultant with a focus on operational excellence delivering improved profitability and business performance, and Founder of Awardaroo in 2005. Paul has set the mission of Awardaroo to help raise UK Business Productivity from one of the lowest in the G7 to one of the highest by 2030. Connect on LinkedIn

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