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3-Use Silos as Pillars of Defined Competences: Don’t Try to Tear Them Down

Space Hermit

Within your organization, silos maintain expertise upon which you can draw to solve problems and create value streams. Any attempt to tear down silos, runs against human nature, develops resentments, and will undermine your plans.

Violinists like to talk to violinists. Brass players hang out with other brass players, partly because their work leads to hearing problems which cause them to speak more loudly than others (except for the timpani who are both the most deaf and the most solitary anyway). Then the oboes. They also have a lot to talk about. For example, how to avoid the high pressures inside their heads from driving them to madness before retirement. Silos are everywhere in the orchestra pit. And yet, with direction and coordination, they are able to work together to create a unity of effect in beatiful music. You might just want to throw out all of the ideas about agile wisdom and simply give the silos a standing ovation.

Tearing down silos to implement purely abstract ideas about SCRUM and Holacracy just does not work. Yet agility advocates all agree that silos must come down.

Hey, guys, are you serious? People love silos. They like to sit with like-minded people and talk about things they all understand. People love their cozy silos, even if they sometimes seem like prisons, or concrete bunkers. Maybe it’s because of our cave-dwelling origins.

Exactly, say the Scrummies. Now is the time to emerge from the caves. Silos are so yesterday.

Sure, you can make that argument. But your theory falls apart when confronted with simple reality. Despite all your theories, people still love silos, and are forever searching for a nice silo in which to build a nest.

We at Rosho.World do not believe in tearing down silos. It makes much more sense to leverage the people and expertise from each silo into augmented leadership teams which synergetically combine all of the powers of the individual silos into amazing new value streams. Everyone has their own expertise to bring to the task at hand. All are interdependent, and therefore dependent on each other. Augmented leadership uses competence mapping of each silo, in order to effectively bring each separate competence to bear upon the common, one agenda. This increases efficiency. That’s the origin of value. Demolished silos are not.