Sometimes, it isn’t a lack of information that businesses struggle with. You can have all the information you need, but if it isn’t getting to where it needs to be, you won’t be enjoying the results you are hoping for.
The term for this is siloed information. It’s when information isn’t shared effectively and doesn’t reach the right teams.
So, let’s briefly explore information silos, namely, why they happen, and how to solve this problem.
Why Silos Happen
Information silos occur when there are barriers to cross-team communication and collaboration.
It is easy for teams to work towards achieving their individual goals without considering the larger company picture.
The only way to identify the larger value of your data is by sharing information across teams. This ensures that problems and innovations are shared with a mixing pot of skills and thinking styles.
Create spaces, channels and events in which people can share information among departments, and watch the brainstorming begin!
People and Departments Focus on their Own Functions
It is difficult for teams to align their goals with the larger company goals if they aren’t collaborating with the teams around them.
When this happens, they may forget to share the information their team has access to with other departments and functional teams. Or, they might not know how to share their information. They may have an effective form of communication within their own team. But, that often doesn’t translate across to other teams in other departments.
This hinders organisational growth as teams only work towards their own goals. It means that different departments may not have access to useful information and insights that could help them optimise their strategies.
4 Ways To Solve Organisational Silos
A Centralised Data Management System
To prevent information silos, you want to create a centralised database where different teams can share and access data.
Try to adopt a single management system across your business. Alternatively, try to integrate your existing operating systems so that information is more easily shared.
A Change in Company Culture
Encourage employee involvement. All departments should view themselves as part of the larger organisation, rather than isolated units.
Foster an open, collaborative environment that emphasises cross-team trust-building and effective communication.
Make Cross-team Communication a Company Strategy
The best way to combat silos is through cross-team communication and collaboration. You can make this one of your company goals to which your teams should align themselves.
Cross-team collaboration is no small feat. It will require systemic changes to how your company is run. Making it a priority will ensure that all decisions factor in organisational development and productivity.
It will take time to break down information silos that have often been years in the making. Once you have made cross-team collaboration a company strategy, you will have a framework for all your teams to follow. Encourage them to consistently visit this framework.
Information silos are barriers to problem solving and innovation. They form when there isn’t an effective cross-team collaboration culture.
But silos don’t need to be permanent, so long as you change the environment in which they were first built!
Incy.io enables you to foster a culture where your employees can communicate frictionlessly across different teams and functions. It involves your staff in day-to-day HSE matters, breaks down information silos, and gives them the opportunity to express their opinions, concerns and ideas. Are you interested to hear more? Let's discuss this topic in a demo or start a 30-Day FREE Trial to see how it can help your organisation:
We're a tech company with a passion for helping our customers adapt to the fast changing VUCA world. We're doing that by developing easy-to-use SaaS products that make gathering, managing and analysing field information as easy as possible for the end users. Remove gatekeepers, go horizontal and learn from your mistakes before they actually happen. More info at planbrothers.io