Creating Silos: Do You Differentiate or Detach Your Teams? | #Leadership

Leaders, in the process of differentiating your teams are you creating silos? It’s a dangerous and far reaching mistake. It’s also unnecessary. Here’s how to avoid detaching your teams and creating silos.

Creating Silos: Image is case of colored pens and pencils.

Creating Silos: Are You Differentiating Your Teams or Detaching Them? Image by picslive licensed via

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Leaders, Are You Creating Silos When You Differentiate Teams?

Very few leaders would list creating silos as one of their main goals. Silos go up and then you as leaders discover them when cross teamwork problems arise. The good news is you can stop yourself and the organization from creating silos.

You can differentiate teams to make responsibilities clear without detaching those teams:

  1. Describe primary responsibilities and connections to the rest of the organization. If you only do the first half, employees will assume that those responsibilities are exclusive to that team. Don’t plant these seeds of silos in their minds.

  2. Encourage questions and discussion from all team members. Staff know better than you do as leaders where and when teams must work together. Hear their voices. Engage them to break through existing silos and prevent new ones from going up.

  3. Ensure that all leaders and managers are on board. Many mid-level leaders and managers create and preserve silos to preserve their domain and importance. It’s true and staff level employees can’t stop them. Higher level leaders can. Root out all the justifications these leaders and managers claim for keeping the silos intact. They may claim they can run things as they see fit. Well they can’t if they are creating silos. The organization empowers them to help all teams work well together. It doesn’t empower them to create fiefdoms and silos.

  4. Create a mechanism for employees to use when other teams won’t work with them. Some organizations designate a point person for each team to handle these obstacles. Other organizations train everyone to use a simple phrase like silo alert to trigger cross teamwork.

Use these 4 steps to prevent creating silos. Silos don’t happen just because there are different departments and teams. They are not a synonym for hierarchy. Silos are not inevitable even in large organizations. They pop up when leaders and managers stop working together. Commit to cross teamwork and you will prevent creating silos.

What organizational successes are possible without silos?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

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©2017 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


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One Response to “Creating Silos: Do You Differentiate or Detach Your Teams? | #Leadership”

  1. Hi Kate,

    It’s great to read your post. I was busy with my projects, that’s the reason I was inactive a bit, specially reading & commenting was completely off.

    Anyways, I completely agree with your points, Team work can sometimes be a problem, so I appreciate your efforts for giving these tips. Great work.

    ~ Donna

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