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Do You Have Silo Management?

The area I live in is close to drought conditions in places, and the local Council has instigated a series of water restrictions over the past couple of months.  We are now at ‘Level 3’,  meaning no sprinkler use for homeowners and regular calls to minize water use.  However it appears that some divisions of the Council haven’t heard about the water problem!  They are giving quite different messages to the public.  Oh dear, silo management rearing it’s ugly head, methinks!

Two weeks ago, we had a pipe burst in our front yard and water began bubbling up and running down to the road.  The Council responded quickly to investigate – unfortunately it was on our property so we had to sort it out – which we promptly did.  However the Council employee was amazed that we were running in and out turning our water supply on and off, so as to conserve water.  “Just leave it on,” he said.  So what about the water restrictions, I wondered?

Worse, an extended family member living in the same area also had a pipe burst in their front yard, this week,  (I’m wondering about the quality of these pipes!) and the Council have advised them it will be 10 days until they can investigate.  10 days of water continually running down to the road!  How many litres will that be in 10 days time?  And what about these water restrictions?  My family members are now sceptical about the need to conserve water – and I expect other homeowners in their street are too.  And they will tell their workmates, friends and family, who will tell theirs and so on.  Pretty soon a whole bunch of people are less bothered about conserving water use.

The thing is, that if your organization has a key issue or strategy and needs to bring stakeholders on board for that, everyone in the organization must be speaking and acting in alignment with it.  It doesn’t matter whether they work in the team or division that is responsible for that issue or strategy, everyone in the organization is responsible for implementation.  Now if it turns out that the team that check burst pipes are shortstaffed then you get more resources for them.  In fact, you do what it takes to prevent water wastage. If water conservation is really a key issue.  If it isn’t, then stop promoting it as one.

Silo management, where managers are only responsible for their team or division, and not for organization wide goals and initiatives, almost always defeats the implementation of strategy.  Do you have silo management?  If so, some work needs to be instigated to change reward systems so that managers are responsible for organizational goals as much as for their own area’s goals – and the understand clearly when and how organizational issues override divisional ones.

Get your free report ‘How to think strategically’ at http://www.strategies-direct.com

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