Using Joined Up Thinking to Bust Silos

Busting Silos Joined up ThinkingCombined arms operations. Cross-discipline coordination. Cross-sector sales. There has been much finessing to the term best used to describe leveraging the strengths of those around you to build up the unit, as a whole. To Mustang it’s about “Joined Up Thinking”, or JUT.

While competitiveness is ingrained in the human psyche, so too is cooperation. When company leaders value the latter more than the former, they then begin to engage in joined up thinking. And even the most competitive individual requires, on some level, the support of others to succeed.

Consider Computer Weekly Editor David Bicknell’s contention, “Collaboration will help us do more with less and lead to new growth opportunities to help companies differentiate themselves in difficult times, where the mindset is ‘work smarter, not harder’, and where work is something you do, not where you go. Collaborative tools can give that business advantage, unlock organization-wide and global intellect, and use that to foster the joined up thinking that will drive innovation.”

Company leadership is often operated under a “bunker mentality”, where each partner/manager has a business stream or department in which they are responsible…Bill Higgs refers to these as silos. The natural inclination is for leaders to reinforce the walls of their own silo and build it up higher. In actuality, the goal should be to connect all the company’s silos using joined up thinking. To do this, Higgs strongly promoted the concept of “silo-busting”.

“The heads of the silos should talk and employ cross-fertilization to leverage their top resources in such a manner as to create a bigger pie…bonds then form between silos, learning from each others’ value propositions, understanding how links can be made to match clients’ needs, and demonstrating to management that this effort will create more opportunities and increase the bottom line.”

No matter the industry, consider of the organization you would rather be in…the one where each silo works unilaterally to accomplish their own goals or the one where they continually collaborate to achieve company-wide success.

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