Organizational leaders typically choose to ignore the silo mindset or aren’t even aware it exists. Despite all efforts of the effective Six Sigma program, it seems this silo mindset is one that needs a different approach. It is critical to address this issue because of its damaging effects on the organization, its employees and their morale. 

Failure to share information across departments negatively impacts their efficacy. Morale is affected as employee’s jobs are made that much more difficult with duplication. Time is wasted and costs are increased. Apathy sets in. Culture changes and productivity suffers.

To fix a problem, you need to admit you have a problem

Admission of a problem requires the ability to rise above the self-serving ego. But the reality remains that a problem cannot begin to be addressed if no-one wants to admit it exists. Once leadership does recognize that a problem exists and is damaging, steps can be taken to find a solution. 

As much as it can feel like a relief to assign blame for failures in the organization, it is best to identify the true causes. Immediately after these are identified, leadership can go to work to overcome the obstacles causing the failures. More often than not, it is the silo mindset, which is to blame. Subtle, elusive, but destructive. Global Six Sigma can help to face this challenge.

To this point, and no further

Leadership is accountable for the silo mindset because of the culture that they have created in the organization. When leaders are not aligned in their goals, they create conflict – resulting in a silo mindset. 

Excuses are made to cover up the absence of cooperation across departments, preferring to place the blame anywhere but at their own door. Illogical reasons are offered as to why information and resource sharing doesn’t take place.

With every step away from collaboration, departments move toward destructive competitive behavior. Resources are wasted, and employee morale and loyalty go out the window. 

Once leaders are finally able to recognize their own roles in the organizational failures created, they are able to grow. It is then they admit fault, take responsibility, grow personally, and are able to advance organizational goals. 

Remove the barriers

No-one said it would be easy for leaders to initiate change. But that is why they got to their positions in the first place – to make tough choices, among others. Employees will resent leadership efforts to apply change, making their job that much more challenging. 

Motivating aligned goals, and staff who buy into the new changes will be difficult. Getting employee support and seeing how empowered they feel about contributing value to achieving organizational goals – will be rewarding.

A shared purpose, the tools to make change and rewards for accomplishments, will be reward in themselves. New trust will be created and loyalties generated when overcoming the silo mindset barrier. The anticipation of a brighter future will change the cultural landscape of the organization. The renewed purpose will inspire change.

Creating a new mindset for change and sharing

Once leadership recognizes that the silo mindset is established and takes steps to break it down, positive change can be implemented. 

The Six Sigma methodology is a valuable tool to create this type of change. People like their comfort zones. Proving to them that getting out of these comfort areas will improve their lives is difficult. Once achieved, though, the results can be truly inspirational. 

Once the change has begun, elements like creativity, innovation, energy and enthusiasm slowly become noticeable again. If you still query this in your leadership position – start using the 5 Whys process to dig deeper external to the C-Suite. You may be shocked at what you uncover, but at least you will know how to fix it.