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Stop Constructing Silos at Work

by admin on March 26, 2010

121bWhen culture has a chance to flow freely from individuals and across an organization, it grows stronger and more rapidly.

As a CEO coach, I would advise you that once you get rid of private offices, make sure your employees aren’t divided from one another either.

Mix in sales with engineering, marketing with support. Put members of your leadership team in various parts and floors of the office.

Not only will this build culture, but also it will enhance each employee’s understanding of what other people do in your company.

How can you possibly be connected to your customer or your employees if all your la-di-daa senior executives are on the top floor or in a corner office with the door closed?

Don’t act all ‘Les Nessman’ by removing yourself from the same space your employees occupy. If you sit with them there won’t be an us/them mentality, and you’ll absorb the same work culture your employees do.

If you have private office, take a sledge hammer to the walls and put the door on eBay.

Also ideas like a ‘Dream Room’, a Wii Room‘ and a ‘Nap Room‘ will be very popular and drastically help break down department barriers and reduce employee turnover.

For more information on this topic, check out: Building a World Class Culture.

3 thoughts on “Stop Constructing Silos at Work”

  1. For many, this can feel like being the emperor who is told to just get naked in front of anyone without the preface of imaginary threads. The employers that I’ve seen vehemently oppose this model genuinely seem to believe that removing the silos to create culture is the second best way to enable culture (a distant second to Command and Control). If I am heading into the candidate pool in 2010, evaluating how an organization handles silos is near the top of my list prior to accepting an offer.

  2. I think this is a nice philosophy and while I certainly agree that there is value in sharing of ideas and having people feel connected and management more approachable, in practice this just turns into water-cooler gossip sessions. If I have a project I need to finish, it is door closed, nose to the grindstone without any distractions.

    Throughout the course of the day I like to leave my office door open for anyone to drop in, or so I can get feel for the buzz around the office floor, but if that door is shut, it’s shut for a reason. Genius at work.

  3. We are in the process of building an office without walls and it is a bit frightening at first. But our painted picture required it so we took the risk. In 2500 SF we will have a Learning Lab, Dream Lab and Leornado Lab. All conference tables will be round so there is not a head of table problem. Only will have 2 private offices for the occassional government regulator and one place for secure document storage that can be locked at night. The rest will be wide open and we cannot wait.

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