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Organisation management - Essay Example

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Organizational silos are units, departments or subgroups in an organization which has a tendency to protect themselves by keeping duplicate data and services that holds hostage the whole organization. Silos are counter-progressive because they hold their own goals ahead of the…
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Teacher Corporate Silos in Organisations Organizational silos are units, departments or subgroups in an organization which has a tendency to protect themselves by keeping duplicate data and services that holds hostage the whole organization. Silos are counter-progressive because they hold their own goals ahead of the organizations objectives and makes implementation for change and improvement difficult. Silos can be likened to a clique in layman’s term which separates the group from the others by having their own sets of information.
The presence of silos in an organization are a disadvantage because the enterprise cannot act quickly “on opportunities that arise in a fast-paced business landscape, nor is it able to make productive decisions about how to change in order to seize these opportunities” (Kotter 2011). It renders an organisation less competitive because the organization is burden with bureaucracy and non-cooperation.
To be able to detect silos, managers must be quick to recognize its symptoms so that it can be stopped early. Once silos have grown to point of an “empire” in an organization, it would be extremely difficult to arrest them.
The first telling sign is the existence of projects in other departments or divisions or even groups without management knowing them. It is like that some groups in the organization have a life of its own. Second is the management’s lack of touch with the organization. Silos are often a product of non communication from management. Lastly, when certain groups or departments are being left out be it with information or project, the defense mechanism of such groups or departments is to hoard information and services and thus, the creation of a silo. Silos are basically founded on distrust in an organization (Burdett nd).
To tear down or remove silos in an organisation, Stone advised to reward cooperative behavior among employees. Encourage innovation which silos stunt and create a culture of collaboration. Responsibilities must also be clarified so that finding opportunities in cross functional initiatives would be easier (2004). This would reinforce and promote a culture of cooperation and trust in an organization which prevents silos. Conflicts, which silos thrive can also be prevented by clarifying responsibilities so that there is no overlap of functions that makes cooperation easy.
Kotter also advised that departments in an organization share data so that none is left out and no one also can hostage the organization for possessing certain data. Cooperation must also be encouraged within and without subgroups so that silos will not thrive (Kotter 2011). Kotter is directly addressing the main source of power of silos which is the duplication of data and this can be neutralized or loses its significance which such data is readily available to other groups in an organization.
Both Stone and Kotter agree that camaraderie and cooperation in an organization must be promoted as a best defense against silos. It is because they enhance transparency that ultimately builds trust. Once trust and cooperation is already established in an organization, the creation of silos can be prevented.
Bibliography
Burdett, Arthur Clinton (nd). How to overcome corporate silos. http://www.clintburdett.com/howto/plan_02_intro_corporate_silos.htm[accessed May 27, 2012]
Kotter, John (May 3, 2011). Breaking down silos. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2011/05/03/breaking-down-silos/ [accessed May 27, 2012] Read More
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