Those good old silos.

Seven tactics to make them go away.

Erikjan Lantink
3 min readJun 20

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Joyce, my brilliant Organizational Development mentor, often used the following quote when we talked about Organization Design:

“Every organization is perfectly designed for the results it gets.
~ Joyce Wilson Sanford

In other words, if your results are below expectations, there’s a big chance your design is flawed.

And vice versa, when you’re doing great, your organization works for you.

Keep looking at the roof while the sun shines and adapt proactively when needed.

Create your own s&#t storms before somebody or something else does it.

Stay on your toes.

This is my lead-in to silos and us vs. them cultures.

The word silos has been around forever and still is.

Even in this hyperconnected networked world we live and work in.

It has never been easier to be connected across functional boundaries, and it still doesn’t happen in many places.

Here are the seven tactics to make those organizational silos disappear:

  1. Clear Purpose.

Collaboration across functions becomes easier when everyone personally connects to a clear, compelling, and exciting company purpose.

2. Your Org. Design needs a refresh.

I’m sorry, but the classical org. chart is outdated. This is a networked world where people expect to work across functional borders. You need people in your team that serve different functions. You need to know who the networkers are.

3. Joined Ownership and Rewards.

This is a hard one. People like to have their performance rewarded. But just like in sports, there’s also a team effort. When you work with a common purpose, you can also design a reward structure that rewards team performance. You need to think this through, though. What incentives really motivate us to work together?

4. Demanding Expectations.

Pay well and expect a return. When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. It’s just like that. When…

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Erikjan Lantink

Business & Leadership coach. Interim Leader. Writer. Speaker. Former Retail Executive (general management; operations; HR)