The New Elephant in the Room, the SILOsaur

I’ve been saying for a few years now that the organizational structures have become like dinosaurs, maybe I should have said sloths. While “digging through the sands” of information, this dinosaur got an identity. Meet SILOsaur.

Almost every company that I’ve worked with complains about the siloed behaviors and mentalities in the company. “They do their own thing without talking to us and bla bla bla…” You know this story right?

According to Webopedia author Vangie Beal, “A silo describes any management system that is unable to operate with any other system, meaning it’s closed off from other systems. Silos create an environment of individual and disparate systems within an organization.” YIKES!

She goes on to say, “Organizational silos typically do not share the same priorities, goals or even the same tools, so departments operate as individual business units or entities within the enterprise.” Please tell me this doesn’t describe operations in your company. DOUBLE, TRIPLE YIKES!

I was inspired to write this blog after John Geraci shared David Jimenez Maireles LinkedIn post highlighting Amy Scott’s article, “How Silos Damage Customer Experience.”

In the article Scott cites that, “A recent survey from the American Management Association showed that 83% of executives said that silos existed in their companies and that 97% think they have a negative effect.”

Note: I believe David Jimenez Maireles created this perfect graphic of the article stat.

This is a disturbing statistic given that most companies are moving fast forward with digital transformation initiatives while not truly acknowledging , or knowing what to to do with the SILOsaur in the room. Personally, I don’t think you can win in this new world of work and digital transformation if you don’t figure this one out right away. AND, you need to figure it out within since I believe this is deeply rooted in culture.

If you’re in the 97%, I’ve got great news for you!

You don’t have to slay the SILOsaur to turn your company into a well-oiled engine that catapults your transformation initiatives, and more, in the direction of #transformation success. I get it that you can’t stop, drop, slay the SILOsaur, and then pick up where you left off. There are timelines, budgets, and commitments at stake, and might I also add bonuses.

The great news is that you don’t have to. Just take what you’ve been doing for decades and reshape & reshift it to fit the modern way of how you should work. Trust me, the new workforce wants to work connected, informed, aligned, and feeling they truly make a difference in something that matters.

Think Taxi/Uber, Hotel/Airbnb. The fundamental need didn’t change… I need a ride, I need a room. The base mechanism didn’t change… a transportation vehicle, a liveable building space. Think reshape, reshift, reframe.

We need a shift in the world of work where the fundamental need hasn’t changed… I need to service my customer with speed, quality, service excellence, factoring in price/cost that builds profit. This is NOT a new call to action. For sure the new tools make an impact, but I’m talking about the fundamental need.

Curious? Read on…

Take what you already have, what you already use, and rethink, reframe, refresh, regroup. I’m talking about your business Super Users (you might call them Power Users, Key Users, User Advocates, or other). Whether you acknowledge them or not, they exist, and they exist in the silo’s dealing with the SILOsaurs.

This is why www.sunsource.io exists. It’s a community that supports you taking your SILOsaurs and turning them into a cross-functionally connected force on which your transformation initiatives will flow and thrive long after the “go-lives”.

A community… it means you don’t have to figure it out alone. Companies like Schlumberger, Southwest Airlines, CMI, Apex Tool Group, 3M, Under Armour, Eaton and more are realizing the undiscovered value within their walls. And they are coming together in September to work on this together!

Are you going to just keep doing what you’re doing and hope your digital transformation will save you? Please don’t. There’s a better way, without buying software or adding headcount. Leverage what you already have in a different way.

Check out SUNsource. Reach out to any of our Executive Advisory Board, Leader Board members, or me. There are plenty of resources to help.

I’ll leave you with a quote to ponder and another resource to dig into:

“The pace of Sustainable Innovation is dictated by the ability of the Organizational Model to sustain it.” ~ Dr. Domenico Lepore

Don’t ignore the SILOsaur.

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