Departmental silos and discipline-specific mindset can influence professional development and business outcomes. Does your corporate culture creating a homogeneous, or hybridized, mindset? How do the departmental silos in which we operate translate into outcomes for your customers?
Depending on where we sit around the business table, we see the same things – differently.
1.) Departmental silos impede revenue generation, which impacts job security. Regardless of your job function, technical, sales or otherwise, you are responsible for revenue generation. Sales roles become a revolving door associated with job brevity if you don’t deliver on quota. Engineers no longer have jobs for life. If you are a Gen Y or millennial IT person, job-hopping because your company doesn’t make you happy creates a checkered resume that doesn’t give your next employer warm-fuzzies. Generating revenue focuses your attention on customers, not you or your department.
2.) Revenue generation involves a lot of CONSISTENT heavy lifting across departmental silos. It’s stressful stuff. There is no free pass to anywhere. No easy solutions. Do you hunker down into your departmental silo, doing your job and playing it safe, collecting a paycheck? Are you engaged across professional disciplines, with customers and colleagues, identifying which factors impact their business decisions? Are you becoming a Master at your craft, learning outside your professional discipline? Or are you content with mediocrity, thinking that being merely competent within your departmental silos will be satisfactory to make it through the next performance review?
3.) There is absolutely no room for department silos when seeking solutions for today’s globally competitive business ecosystem. Do you treat your business development specialists like they are ignorant, motor-mouthed sales folks whose job it is to procure projects for the engineering department? Consider whether operating in departmental silos differentiates your company or commoditizes it? Consider whether your ability to operate across silos, rather than within silos, creates more value – and job security – for yourself, your colleagues and your customers.
4.) Seek hybridized, win-win solutions, one at a time. Demonstration of value to your organization may involve crossing the conceptual abyss and becoming involved in cross-functional collaboration. It’s not about your products and services, it’s about the resources and solutions you provide. Developing those skill sets enhances your value to your current employer, or your next employer.
Where do you fit into this emerging picture? What might you do, differently?
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo and business- and revenue-producing collaboration and communication tools to small and mid-sized Seller-Doer businesses, corporate divisions, and startups. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business, is now available in eReader format!