Silo thinking will stop business growth dead

I have been lucky enough to work for some of the world’s largest companies. It always amazes me how senior management bemoan how their teams work separately, in silos, yet do not realise this problem comes directly from them and kills business growth.

It also concerns me that they do not do whatever it takes to stop the problem dead. They are literally giving away sales and business.

Don’t throw away all your business growth efforts

Here is an analogy I help with explain my thinking. I race sailing dinghies on Sundays. In a race, every mistake you make, however complex or basic, allows the competition to beat you. For instance, if the boat is heeling or if you do one bad tack (change of direction), other boats will very likely overtake you. All that effort for nothing….

It is the same in business. Your people are by far the biggest power you have. They must be aligned- like an army. Otherwise:

  • They will pull in different directions. If any army does not pull as one force it will be beaten. It is the same in business, especially with regard to business growth.
  • Different teams do not work together – or even talk to each other much
  • They feel disillusioned because a lot of their effort is wasted. Energy and productivity drop.
  • You, the business leaders, find you have to spend a lot more time and effort to get anything done
  • You need to employ more staff to get the same amount done. Your costs go up. The business is not nimble enough to take up so many opportunities. Customers see slower responses. Business gets harder

It is like trying to push water up hill.

Ensuring superb alignment across your people is essential to your business’ success.  Silo thinking stops growth dead.

The mis alignment comes from the very top. I am always shocked to find on any leadership team that, while one person is headed in the direction the company says it wants to go, the rest of the team is usually pointed in different directions and often 2 people are pulling in exactly the opposite direction.

There are 3 reasons for this:

  1. Leadership teams try to agree where they are headed in terms of financial targets alone. Focusing on money alone is divisive and that will actually stop business growth! Moreover, businesses require a more balanced approach – financial targets on their own are just not enough.
  2. Companies do not have a company vision that really inspires every single person on the leadership team. If they have a vision at all it sits in a document somewhere, is written in Management speak that no one is totally clear about and is pretty much forgotten before it has been finished.  The one thing that aligns businesses powerfully is a joint dream about creating something incredibly exciting and impressively worthwhile.
  3. Senior Management teams do not take time to become truly aligned by discussing the elephants in the room. They assume they agree on important topics e.g. which markets, what makes the company really different/ better than its competition in the eyes of the customer, the core strategies to achieve the vision etc.

When will your business decide that silo thinking must go?

What will you do to clear this barrier so business growth can become reality again? This article will show you how to start doing that click here.

If you would like help to fast track your business success, please do call us on +44 (0)207 06040 006

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