Break the silos or break your company

IT’S TIME TO BREAK DOWN THE SILOS … ONCE AND FOR ALL!

In the modern world, the silo’d business is a thing of the past. At least, it should be.

Gone are the days where the departments of a business can work in isolation and expect to keep up with the competition. The rapid pace of the modern world has made agility an absolute must, and agility can only exist with efficient communication between the individual parts.

Just as the limbs of the champion boxer must all work in unison, reacting with speed and agility to position himself for victory, so too must the modern organisation be able to move as smoothly as possible, with speed and efficiency.

This requires efficient communication that simply cannot happen with a disconnected silo structure. It’s time to tear down those silos and open up the communication flow between departments. But tearing them down is only the first step. What you put in its place is even more important.

THE COMMUNICATION IS FLOWING, BUT WHERE DOES IT GO?

Once the communication flow is opened up, you need a structure in place to support it.

Though silos lead to slow communication and information bottlenecks, structureless communication can create information overwhelm and operational inefficiencies. What is needed is a structure and system to support this open communication.

That is best achieved through a company ESN (Enterprise Social Network).

An ESN comes with many benefits but one of the major ones is its effectiveness in reducing one of the biggest business time wasters, unnecessary email.

It may not surprise you to learn that a major complaint of employees is that they receive far too many unnecessary emails. This leads to wasted time and frustration as employees struggle to process the ever increasing volume clogging up their inbox.

After implementing their own ESN “UnMail”, Intellect Design Arena (a part of Polaris Group) reported saving a staggering 1.3 million man hours per year, simply by reducing unnecessary emails. That is a serious increase in efficiency with a big dollar value behind it.

Beyond the obvious advantage of reducing emails, ESNs can help to create a more open, intuitive and free flowing communication platform, that improves collaboration on projects and facilitates better inter-department communication. They are especially useful in connecting the teams of larger organisations with offices across the globe.

This can often lead to better connection between geographically separate departments and the sharing of key learnings between offices. In addition to the operational benefits, it can also lead to a better feeling of community within the broader company.

A great example of the broader advantages an ESN can deliver, Intellect Design Arena also attributed a significant decrease in attrition rates (22% to 14%) by promoting up-skill, cross-skill and job opportunities within the business. By breaking down the silos and freeing up communication they managed to keep skilled staff within the broader organisation.

This is a key advantage for large B2B companies such as Intellect Design Arena. Though all companies can benefit from an ESN, the larger B2B organisations who typically move quite slowly, can stand to benefit greatly from the agility that comes with an ESN.

As the pace of the world continues to increase and connectivity becomes even more important, silo’d organisations will not survive the test of time. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

How well does your organisation communicate? Could you stand to make some improvements? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

To learn more about why B2B companies need social media, download our eBook “10 Reasons B2B Companies Need Social Media” here. If you work in social media yourself at a B2B company, join our community to learn even more from your peers.