Breaking Down Silos with Lori Zehr, Chief of Staff

Let’s be real . . . silos stink. They keep good organizations from being great. They keep people from connecting and collaborating. They separate, they alienate. Silos could just be another word for divided. Probably not how we want people to describe our organizations.

No organization is immune to silos but you can try to root them out, intentionally.

One way to combat silos is to provide an internal guidebook on how to work. At Fervor we call that our Manifesto, You’ll find “we work transparently and live authentically.” Our team implements collaboration, transparency and authenticity with each other just like we do with clients. Although we employ digital marketing experts in social media, web development, brand management and more, we don’t want any employee to bear the load themselves. It’s important to lean on one another and share ideas to produce great content, a great campaign, a great website and more. Simply put,  we make a bigger impact when we work together.

Breaking down silos means bridging the gap between different sectors of an organization — designers, strategists, developers, managers, CEOs — to collaborate and exceed client expectations.

To help break down silos in your own company, we have three simple suggestions for one impactful quality: collaboration.

Set the Expectation

From the leadership team down to new employees, you need to consistently communicate that collaboration is key. Set the tone for your team and let them know collaboration is what’s expected, not recommended. Write it down, share it, hold the team accountable for it. Then the hardest part is to practice it every day.

Planning and Preparation

Team collaboration means there are more people involved in the process. Therefore, plan effective meetings and make sure each team member has enough time to work with one another. Invest in them, and they’ll invest in a great product.

Know Who Should be Involved

When a lot of employees are involved, processes can become vague — so it’s important to clearly communicate who is in charge of what tasks. Write down and solidify your team collaboration processes, then iterate and refine as time goes on so your company reaches its best practices.

If you don’t remind yourself regularly how important collaboration is to the creative process, silos will creep their way into your organization and keep individuals closed off from one another. Resist temptation for isolation. At Fervor we know collaboration leads to winning inside first — something we’ll preach until the cows come home.

Interested in more ways to win inside? Check out more from our blog:

People First: Why Investing in Your Company Has to Start With Your Team

Winning Inside First with the Culture Impact Assessment

Kansas City’s Best Coffee Shops (Collaboration goes perfect with coffee)