I hear a recurring issue from CEOs. They’re frustrated with the silos that have formed in their organizations and don’t know how to break them down. Everyone is so focused on his or her own priorities, and therefore, there’s no alignment.
This isn’t a new issue. In fact, Jack Welch, the legendary former CEO of General Electric, advocated for a “boundaryless organization” more than 25 years ago. He argued that the speed of globalization and technological innovation would force companies into shorter decision cycles, mandate employee engagement and necessitate cross-functional collaboration.
He captured it — BREAK DOWN THE SILOS!
But how do you get there?
Step 1: STARTS WITH STRATEGY
Has your entire leadership team helped develop the strategy and do they buy in to it? Does every employee in the company know the strategy? Ask yourself: “How is your entire team executing on the strategy?” Be honest.
Step 2: PLAN COMES FROM THE TOP
Once you have the agreed upon strategy, the executive team determines the plan for the overall company. This also includes the company’s core values, purpose, key targets, longer term initiatives and shorter term priorities. Done correctly, these initiatives and priorities will cut across all areas of the company and require cross-functional teams.
Step 3: CASCADE DOWN TO INDIVIDUAL TEAMS
Once the company’s priorities are set, departments can align their priorities with the company’s. And each individual should know how their role contributes to the success of the strategic plan. This culture of alignment breeds innovation, builds trust, boosts employee morale and assures the entire team is more productive.
Like the best crews, everyone is rowing in the same direction, with the executive leadership team actively engaged and steering the boat. It’s beautiful to behold!
And it all starts at the top, with a leader committed to putting in the work to break the silos down, creating a culture of alignment and executing on the plan.
With the new year on the horizon, are you ready to break down the silos and make measurable changes?