• Yukiko Sakata

Organization of the Connected Age ~ Hints to Better Shift From Silo to Fluid

Have you experienced being under the service from the silo management organization and got ping-ponged in between the departments or bureaus? Or have you worked at traditional hierarchical organizations and experienced the work not being super efficient because of the silos?

Sadly, between the group of people systematically working together across the groups, there are walls that separate them originally so that employees can focus on the productivity in the department itself. However, just like anything else can be competing with each other when being together with something similar, like an apple and an apple, creating the consciousness of "comparing" and with the third party eyeballs, and then the consciousness of "being compared to each other", departments, do battle with each other just for the facts that they exist together. Marketing dept wants to speak marketing, get the marketing done and look fabulous, while sales want to speak sales, selling the services and products, recognized as the ones that got the desired results. Because there are groups, there are walls. So silos are born organically. In the new digital connected age, with more horizontal conversations happening online, it is becoming pointless to have silos. Experiencing more and more successful disruptions and innovations, we now demand more fluidity expecting that it will give the organizations more creativity and agility.

Coming from creative backgrounds from the rather conservative society, I personally have experienced such dilemmas many times. The typical one is to deal with government work. When things are done mistakenly, it is extremely hard to speak up or even to find the person who understands the overview of the system. Usually, the caller is given the number of the different department, and have to repeatedly ask the same questions over and over until he gives up and finds out that there is no contact person for that. If it is the government, it is still understandable, but what if it was a company that wishes to keep creating the best customer experiences and to continue collecting any opinions or what so ever?

Not getting allocated or handled immediately does not mean that the job is not worth doing it. It is just not anybody's job within the existing organization.

So I think it is fair to say this:

A silo starts with "it's not my job", and the negative attitude relies on the competitive environment with measurable rewarding systems.

Creativity starts with "would be great if", and the positive attitude relies on the safe environment where spontaneous idea sharing is encouraged.



Then How can we shift from silos to creativity, which is said to be achievable by being "fluid"?

I recently had a chance to imagine what the job would feel being ditched in between the silos. I am a job that was half done by sales, forgotten, thrown to services once, got ditched, landed on IT. What would you want if you were the deal to be taken care of but ping-ponged between the silos? You's want to be rescued or allocated somewhere stable. Not that you feel at risk, but it's awkward. Looking at all the other jobs treated importantly expressing its value with some kind of results at least, not being handled make you doubt if they even see you as a job.

I would be like, "Hey, I am a job, too! Guys, I need to be get done by you, right?" So sad, wouldn't it?

INSPIRATIQUE thinks that it's entrepreneurship and fluidity that would shift from silo to what's more creative. At silo management, the motivation is usually tagged with clear and measurable goals. The employees are set to keep working, and get things done.

One needs to feel necessity and to be convinced that there is a decent rewarding system that's promising the benefits which, to one's value, outweighs the opportunity cost of doing the job outside of the given job-scope. That said one needs to have the "free time" or at least, "cheaper time" to proactively work on something they don't necessarily have to.

That itself is hard to manage, and there are even more barriers to break. One example is fear. In order for one to start, or accomplish projects between the silos, he has to bear extra stress on top of the additional work volume. He might seem like a strange person to do things that others don't do. He might be perceived as someone who just likes to waste his time. That's hard.

The existing solution is either to rely on good teamwork or to follow the top down decisions around it. Either way, it has to be done in the "good" environment since it'll be the additional works to some people, to some degrees, anyway.

Some companies encourage verbal expression of gratitude, others try to create the harmoniously balanced work environment to support good teamworks. There're companies try to keep the healthy environment with sunshine, kids room, food trucks and gym, so that under any stress, employees remain happy and well.

But still, the silos and what sits between them, can't be solved. Even if they could be, it'd be owing a lot to the team and their human relationships. Then there would be the risk, which would be the company's potential failure to award those who aren't fundamentally good with people or have organizational skills, toxic and chronic relationship problems between the employees, corruptions, etc.

INSPIRATIQUE takes the organizational approach with original rules, and we will test out while being a small boutique agency. The idea is the mix of teal management and fluid network. the members are required to think independently about their own projects. When it's teal, meaning that it's something they spontaneously got inspired to, by the way, the teal project will be screened to be verified so that it won't be the system to support ego-based projects or hobbies, the member would start spending extra time and effort to unknown. They will be respected and valued as a courageous challenger, and in return, they will have to manage everything about the project like their time, outcome, cooperative partners, resources, strategies, goals, and purposes. That would be hard, so there will be advisory and mentorship they can claim. And horizontal cooperation. It would not be the bottom up but would be middle to middle in more self-managing style.

The point is that just like the company provides the workplaces and compensations to the employees, the organizational system can be perceived as one of the "environment" that they offer. For most of the companies, the organizational transformation is done after they find that the existing system is not working well anymore. If they want to proactively change the company, there will be resistance, because the transformation is "revolutionary" and can be "extreme", disrupting the existing rewarding system inevitably causing fear. So the company hire outside consultants or/and conduct internal long term strategy. But the beginning is still the hard work done by human beings not expecting anything but just dealing with reality. Creativity, on the other hand, comes with higher vibration and with a broader viewpoint. It is inspirational, intuitive, and spontaneous. For the talents to be bloomed and be devote to the organization, reconsidering the system itself we believe would move us forward. 

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