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5 Ways to Break Down Corporate Silos

By Ehsan Memari
Published on January 16, 2018

Silos mentality in organizations refers to the act of hoarding information particularly within departments. It is a vile disease that is common in almost every organization and contributes towards bringing the company’s success prospects down.

Several companies today are following strict practices for breaking down corporate silos including Slack technologies, Adobe systems and Dubai Airports. Through various different techniques which also include the ones discussed in this article, they ensure that corporate silos is put to an end in their companies.

5 Ways to Break Down Corporate Silos

Experts have defined several tried and tested practices which can help the companies in breaking down corporate silos. Some of these practices are:

1) Forming a unified vision

In a survey, 39% of employees believed that there existed a lack of collaboration between organizational employees. Experts are of the opinion that physical spaces, geographical distances, security issues and other managerial differences are to be blamed for the development of office silos. Therefore, one of the best ways to tackle this issue is to create a unified vision among the organizational departments first of all.

Patrick Lencioni in his book about silos advices leaders to break down silos by creating a unified vision so that all the employees row in a similar direction. This can only be achieved when a vision which is agreed upon by all the team leaders is built. There must be a core understanding of the company’s long-term goals and must be shared with everyone.

2) Working towards Attaining a Collective Goal

86% of polled employees blame corporate silos for failure of a company. The next step in ensuring that the companies move towards success is ensuring that the unified vision created is followed by working towards the achievement of a common goal. It is pertinent that the leadership remains on task and focuses on the goals which have to be shared from top to bottom. When all employees are aware of these goals, they will be willing to work together to achieve them.

3) Motivating and Providing Incentives

Motivating the employees to share their knowledge involves various tactics such as providing words of encouragement, individual share in growth, and sharing common interests within the organization. It is not enough to simply create a vision and then work on it. Successful companies with little to zero silo mentality motivate their employees and provide them with incentives to ensure that this practice is carried on in the future. For example, if a management team was able to meet a deadline together, the whole team must be provided a bonus in their salary or a day off.

4) Collaborating and Creating Innovative Practices

The quote “Knowledge is power” holds true here. A productive team is able to collaborate well to achieve creativity in execution of company goals. Moreover, a team that would be focused on the company goals would be able to cooperate well with each other. In order to improve collaboration, companies must give their departments different opportunities to work together and share ideas so that they can bring up creative and innovative ideas for improvements in company’s products.

5) Investing in Knowledge Sharing Tools

According to a McKinsey report, on an average, every employee spends about 19 percent of the weekly work time in searching and collecting job-related knowledge. Hence, in order to break down corporate silos and promote knowledge sharing among workers, investing in an appropriate knowledge sharing tool is pivotal. In fact, studies suggest that using these tools can decrease knowledge searching time by 35 percent!

When choosing a knowledge sharing tool, choose a software that provides smart search options so that the time consumed in searching for information is considerably reduced. Moreover, ensure that the software functions with same proficiency on a smartphone as it does on a PC or a workstaion. Another important feature to look for is Reporting and Analytics as these insights will help you recognize knowledge gaps and capacities in which your workers need training.

Final Word

By working on these basic practices companies can achieve the goal of breaking down the mentality of corporate silos. It will of course not be a one-day process. It is bound to take time and is a process which requires careful planning at all levels in the organization. The best way is to acquire inspiration from other companies and teams which can help guide further in breaking down corporate silos.


BoostHQ is the leading knowledge sharing platform, allowing organizations to share, centralize and discuss internal knowledge. BoostHQ  helps organization to improve employee engagement, employee productivity and reduce employee turnover as a result. 


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