Silo mentality


We can start with what we mean by silo mentality.

Put simply, it occurs when several departments or groups working together within an organisation do not want to share information or knowledge with other individuals and or teams they work with.

The foundations behind the creation of this way interacting are that grouping workers in similar functions together will improve the way the groups’ function, perform, and also communicate.

Well intentioned actions can and do have unintended consequences.

There is a story that develops with great regularity. Do you recognise it? Have you seen a this?

This is a story of a business or organisation in its environment.

It is the story of survival in a complex, stressful and changing world.

And to simplify and make life easier we carve out areas of responsibility that are less complex and complicated.

Therefore, creating areas of focus and speciality to get the jobs done.

This can then result in the formation of what we refer to as a silo and silo mentality. Causing us to lose touch and visibility of what is happening elsewhere. There can be strength in specialisation and also a potential for loss of sight of the whole picture.

What starts as focused attention on the task in hand can develop into internal warfare. Departments in competition for resources and recognition. The internal focus occurs at the loss of the external perspective.

The are many ways in which this shows up;

Poor communication

Reduction of innovation

Stalled business growth

Lower than expected productivity

So what else is possible and does it always have to be this way?

There is also another possibility. The potential to develop partnerships instead of competition.

The possibility to help partners and potential partners to understand and master the system conditions we exist within.

How do we understand and develop partnership working?

In the works of Barry Oshry, he has identified the concept of door A and door B

Door A is the predictable conditions of organisational life. This door is always open, very visible and also leads to feeling burdened, oppressed, torn between numerous parts. We access this so quickly we are not aware that there is another way, another door. This is automatic, reflexive and without thought or choice or deliberation

Door B is not really a door. It’s the potential, an outline, a possibility.

It is as if someone came along and painted a door onto a brick wall and we come along with a sledgehammer and create a door.

So how do we create a door where there is no door?

We have the power to create another way. An alternative way of being.

Its not about changing anything around us, we have little power to change others.

We do have the power to make a personal commitment. To be the person you want to see in the world.

Here are some examples

  • Ask for help
  • Share high quality information
  • Invest in creating positive relationships with others

If you would like more information and further understanding please get in touch.