The concept of the silo in organisations has certainly done the rounds for a long time.
It is a metaphor that has stuck with people for so long few would know its origins. But silos paint a clear picture of people working in isolation from one another.
And as much as we know the term well, silos continue to exist in many organisations. Marketing departments tell one story, executives another, and those out in the field, in sales, product development or where ever all talk a different story. Often there’s a fair about of cynicism about the ‘official’ story or brand of an organisation.
And when it comes to a vision statement or mission, they are not something that people tell great stories about.
Developing a culture where people share real and untold stories is a powerful way to build a high performing organisation.
Having people sing from the same songsheet’ is hugely desirable. It is not about everyone singing exactly the same note in some robotic way. The trick is allowing people to articulate things the way they are most comfortable with.
So a songsheet can have quite a few parts for different voices and instruments. Harmony, melody, and lyrics come together to make a sum greater than the parts.
And so do great stories of great organisations.
Great stories are about people being heard, recognised and acknowledged for their value and contribution and getting a clear sense that they are contributing to a great song, whether they are the triangle player or the piano soloist. And to be honest, music would sound pretty hollow and go unheard in a real silo.