02 Nov 2021 18:58 IST

Building bridges between verticals

Four ways to mitigate negative side effects of silos and insular mindsets in organisations.

The ‘boundaryless’ organisation is chaotic. Verticals work, and exist for good reasons — to aggregate expertise, assign accountability, and give a sense of identity. Companies should build bridges between verticals and institute checks and balances, instead of completely dismantling structures. Here are four ways to make silos work:

Company values: By including “one-company” behaviour in its corporate values, a company signals that people should think and act beyond the boundaries of their verticals.

Operating model: Building a good interface between verticals by defining clear procedures for approvals, consultation, and communication across boundaries, enables effective collaboration.

Community and people: Companies need to introduce cross-functional innovation initiatives. Once familiarity is established, people will connect more easily whenever a concrete need for collaboration arises.

Leadership: Leaders should demonstrate collaborative behaviour themselves by showing loyalty to the joint decisions made in the management team.

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