Tuesday, May 20, 2014

10 Things Silo Organizations and Management Will Never Understand

The next time you are cruising at 10,000 feet or roaming around some conference exhibition floor or just trolling the web, think about your company.

I want you to think about how you share information today, and what you would change about it for tomorrow. If you could see yourself through the eyes of your customers as well, even more helpful.

If you find yourself thinking along the ideas below, you may be a silo organization and in that case...
silos suck
Your organization may profess to "getting social" or "being open" or using collaboration tools or providing everyone access or using the latest version of   but there is more to this discussion.
  1. It's in an Email - Most common denominator of collaboration, famously said but many long time email users. A person's email inbox is a huge silo and bottomless pit. Hopefully you are above this level, even if only slightly. Delete is the enemy, guess where your email may have gone at some point.
  2. I sent an IM - Whatever system you use, unless you are posting the IM as a status update or message that is open for everyone to see, your IM is another bottomless pit but at least it does Emoticons :-P
  3. Everything is on the NAS/Network/Cloud - This is NOT the same equivalent as "everything is in a Notes database or a community or a place or a site". This is a file server which may or may not be indexed for others to find in your chaotic directory structure. Ever ask new employees to find something? Their replies might surprise you. Then again, you may bask in their ignorance and laugh like Cruella DeVille at them.
  4. Management doesn't use  - Use what? They drive Porsches or Teslas...do you? Since when do you need to follow management's lead? If you did this you would be using yellow legal pads rather than any computers. Management wants outcomes, bring them something that will help everyone get together and complete tasks properly.
  5. Many Clients - But which one should you use? Browsers alone you have 4 common ones on the average desktop which may, or may not, work with your existing solution. Your cocoon is not open for business if you need people to revert to older models. Standards are important.
  6. We know what people want - Maybe, maybe not. if you are not talking up, down and outside your organization, how will you know? Anyone can build an app, but if you want one that works outside your organization, how do you get the feedback? How do you store it? How do you analyze it.
  7. Where is everyone - The need to have your staff in front of you at the office, all the time, may be helpful, but it also limits production for some people. Cubicles do not stop the loud talkers or speakerphone conference call makers. Open plans provide more interaction of course, but not always more production. If you find you need to grow your empire, you just might be a silo king or queen.
  8. Never use your tools - You ask for the tools, you paid for them, but you never believe in them. Do you find yourself always questioning more details, verifying information, harping on some piece of the puzzle, yet still not completed the framework yet? If so, then you need to use new tools. Gone are the monolithic databases and in place you have tools with unlimited analytics sources. One example BuzzSumo 
  9. You never see customers - Different from #6 because YOU have to get out and speak to customers. The real people that pay you money today. Do you reach out to them, personally, in some way during the year...if ever? Don't leave it to sales. Don't leave it to marketing. You are the executive, if you are not thanking the customers you have regularly, someone else will. Hint: Many of the clients have some form of social media account, even if it is only Linkedin, you should be their friend. Stop saying it is the other people's jobs.
  10. Always eat alone? - If you always find your self eating alone, even when in your own kitchen area or cafeteria either your food smells horrible or you are too far removed from your staff. Get up, get out, buy soda or juice for everyone or at least hang out where they eat. if you have no idea what I am talking about here, never mind, move along.
Extreme? Some of them others just basic ideas which for whatever reason escapes even the most well meaning people.

Think about your daily work habits and reflect on what could be better.