Managing silos

Silos a pillar of strength and weakness

A known challenge of the work place is how to break down the silos between departments.

I volunteer that the dilemma of the modern workplace is breaking down the silos between individuals.

The skill sets of your team are increasingly varied and specialist. Even in the case of digital marketing, I have witnessed first hand that the social media expert does not understand the challenges of  running the in-house website and search and analytics are not understood by the campaign manager.

Team meetings and calls do little to infuse shared learning. While everyone nods and watches each member present on their area they do not truly “get it” and certainly do not live it.

I have recently uncovered a potential solution by accident.

We have embarked on a series of events to educate and train marketing persons in our business on digital marketing, our strategy, terminology, how to etc. This usually involves an individual from the digital marketing team travelling to a “region” such as Asia or North America and presenting to a group of ~30 local marketing persons.

This has “forced” the team of individuals to understand the disciplines of others in the team. Comments like “Now I get how this CRM programme works”, “I feel more informed about Search” reinforce that the previous team activities and meetings have been ineffective.

So a manager’s prerogative of “Please do not do email in the meeting” and “listen to what has been presented”, “actively contribute” is trumped by the individual’s fear at being found out by his or her colleagues.  Simply put, presenting to an audience of your peers on a subject where perception is that you are the expert, compels you to be more prepared.

Fear has always had a way of sharpening concentration.

Ben

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