Silo mentality: Why should SMEs worry?

A silo mentality can creep into any business, no matter what size. On the surface, everyone’s doing what they think is best. Yet the business doesn’t seem to flow. It’s a paradox when people are trying hard, yet the business isn’t delivering the results it’s hoping for.

Rogan Hounsell-Roberts was a founder of a successful scale-up; has helped organisations across many sectors achieve success; a founder of KR5 Consulting; and passionate to help ambitious business leaders succeed.

The Silo Paradox

A silo mentality is just beneath the surface. Trevor Hough’s LinkedIn article The Paradox of Silos provides an interesting insight. On one hand, we’re hard-wired to collaborate around a common purpose. On the other, our survival instinct is to be competitive. In any group we’ll see others as potential rivals. Subconsciously we compete, yet if that’s not checked, it can lead to potential danger.

You might also be interested in:

Impact to Customer Experience

Silo mentality causes people or teams to act in their own interest instead of working together to serve their customer. As a result, the customer’s experience will be patchy at best. A person or team looking out for themselves is the polar opposite to walking in your customer’s shoes. It’s never about a single person, team, or function. It’s about working together to know and meet a customer’s needs.

As a customer that can feel inconsistent. Frustration can build as they experience delays and when things fall between the gaps. They might feel thrown from pillar to post when resolving a problem.

Why worry?

Because it creeps in, leaders may not notice a silo mentality. As they realise what’s going on, they may see it’s affecting the people in the business as well as customers. Inside the business, relationships can feel strained, and people feel more stressed. People are less open with ideas when there’s a lack of enough trust or feel overwhelmed. Less innovation can result in the business falling behind. That can also affect that sense of belonging and they can feel less committed. Unhappy customers may buy less or buy somewhere else. Losing customers can hurt growth and increases sales cost.

The leadership challenge

Even when leaders see the signs of a silo mentality, they don’t feel like they have the headspace to address the problem. They are often busy running the business. There are decisions, concerns and keeping all the plates spinning.

Leaders need tools to think about their business. The ability to see the business as a whole and also breakdown challenges into more manageable steps. They need to be able to look at the business from different views, so they can make more informed decisions.

Finally

Thinking about the whole business, making changes, and harnessing technology can feel daunting. Having a clear picture and seeing how everything fits together can clarify possibilities for moving forward.  If you’d like to have a chat about your requirements, give me a call on 01344 266567 or contact me on mailto:rhounsell@kr5consulting.com or DM on LinkedIn to arrange an initial meeting.

KR5 Consulting helps senior leaders to transform & refine their business for profitable growth. We work closely with leaders to assist them in their Digital Transformation; refining their Business System; and applying Digital Technology.

If you’d like to explore the ideas in this article further or need help and advice, please contact Rogan at rhounsell@kr5consulting.com – to arrange an informal chat.

If you’ve found this blog interesting or useful, please ‘like’, ‘comment’ or ‘share’ so it can help others too.

Leave a comment