This week we close our mini series on ‘How to improve communication and behaviour in the work place’ with how to remove silo mentalities - if you missed:
PT I: ‘Assumptions’
PT II: ‘Maps’
PT III: ‘Interdependent Communication Obstacles’
(Click the link in my bio to read these)
PT. IV: Silo Mentalities:
What is a Silo Mentality?
The rise of silo mentalities in today’s work place exists because of two core factors:
1. There is a lack of collectiveness from the organization. In other words, there are too many goals dispersed over different departments and energy, time, and resource are allocated to each department’s pressing needs. Collectively, an organization cannot work congruently because everyone is attending to their own fire and needs rather than unifying together toward one primary outcome or goal for a period of time.
2. Secondly, and what this blog will focus primarily on today, is systems or rewards and incentives being based on individual achievement. While undoubtedly most leaders in organizations want their teams to be working cohesively and collaborating as a team, often the system in place to achieve outcomes discourages working collectively as a unit, but rather individuals in pursuit of their own career advancement, title or personal rewards.
Unknowingly Preaching Player Statistics Over The Collective Goal
At the forefront of silo mentalities within a team is individual distraction where the focus is working toward selfish gain. The system in place, or lack of one, promotes how well an individual is doing verses the team collectively winning toward a goal. Title, career advancement and personal rewards distract team members from the collective priority.
When success on a team is measured by how well the individual is doing in their own performance over the team effort, distraction occurs whereby the pursuit is driven by the ego.
Status is an important currency most people are trying to build. Individuals, in and outside of the work place, go a long way to enhance it. It’s not that it is a bad thing to do, its knowing how to resourcefully pursue it. Rallying team members around a collective goal is a key component to dissolving silos and building a star team. When we encourage achievement (a key component to building our sense of status) by measuring progress towards a goal, we keep the team focused on the main thing.
Every individual in a team loves to win. When there is a lack of results being displayed around how they are going in achieving a goal, the focus differs onto selfish pursuits. In the sport world, imagine not having a scoreboard to see if the team is winning or losing? Individuals would start to focus on how many goals they scored, or how many tackles they made. This would be an unresourceful way within a team to boost ones sense of status.
Having the presence of goal ‘measurability’ toward an outcome that is regularly seen and reviewed is important in a working environment if collaboration and team performance is important.
I’m curious, how do you encourage team members to be committed to the collective result rather than their own achievements?