Category : FineLineGD · No Comments · by April 10, 2014


I came across an article the other day in Connect Magazine and was introduced to Siloing or Silos. I am familiar with silos in their most general sense, a structure used for storing bulk materials (grain, coal, cement, woodchips etc.). However, in this article the word Silos referred to something quite different.

Within the world of business, Silos is “a corporate word for non-communication and incompatible goal-setting between departments.” states Manny Hernandez in Connect Magazine. This non-communication results in one department within an organization operating without regard for what others are doing. In very simple terms, they are only looking out for themselves. The end result can have devastating effects on the company ranging from reduced productivity to having good people leave the ranks.

The article “Siloing” recommended six ways to quash the silo mentality that I thought would be pertinent to any business or organization. They are summed up below:

  1. Communicate
    Create a dialog between departments/teams so they know what you are working on and why.
  2. Align
    It is important to know how departments/teams support your department/team and vice versa.
  3. Use cross-functional teams to brainstorm together
    Having another set of eyes and ears on your project helps you see the bigger picture—giving rise to new perspectives and problem-solving solutions.
  4. Reward collaboration
    Reward the collaboration between departments/teams. Rewarding an individual on their work, or their team’s work, offers no incentive to care about the other department or team’s success.
  5. Focus on the customer
    Organizing around the customer motivates departments/teams to share marketplace information, customer feedback, and customer experiences to help meet or exceed customer expectations.
  6. Get personal
    Get to know people as individuals. Relationships thrive in an environment of personal trust.

What struck me about this article was that these six ideas seem to be, or at least should be, intuitive. When you work for a company, the main focus should be what’s best for the company. If the company thrives so will everyone that works within it.

The same goes for clients. My end goal at FineLine Graphics & Design is to always provide the best solution, product, or design for the client. I don’t strike out on my own to solve a design issue. I collaborate with my manager, production artist, designers and the client to come up with the best possible solution for the design. When the client is happy with the design we all benefit from it as a whole.

Ultimately the sum of the parts makes the whole. We can accomplish more by collaborating and working together than by working on our own.