Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bridging Organizational Silos

Gems from Karl Albrecht's white paper titled Organizational Intelligence & Knowledge Management: Thinking Outside the Silos.

  • Albrecht's Law: Intelligent people, when assembled into an organization, will tend toward collective stupidity. (Who hasn't experienced this one?)
  • Intelligent organizations are those with Strategic Vision, Appetite for Change, (internal) Alignment & Congruence, “Heart”, Shared Fate, Free Flow of Knowledge, and Performance Pressure.
  • Enablers of organizational intelligence are Thought Leaders, Communities of Interest, (judicial use) of task forces /ad-hoc teams, and knowledge platforms to support knowledge deployment.
One element I think is missing from Albrecht's list is rewards and recognition. A very smart colleague and friend once said that you can't expect an individual to be an effective team member if they are rewarded/recognized more for solo effort than team contributions and playing a role in team success. I think bridging silos is also about ensuring that implicit / explicit reward/recognition systems and actions do not reinforce a siloed model, despite our very human tendency to think of "me" and "we" before thinking about the broader "us."

1 comment:

Peter Zakrzewski said...

I recently came across an interview David Gurteen did at KM India this past October "On Incentivizing Knowledge Management", which I think is quite thought provoking.

He's of the "Don't Reward People" mindset and according to Gurteen "Rewards are manipulative" and "Rewarding people for meeting targets is detrimental to quality, motivation, pride in work, and leads to gaming."

He's also of the "People will support that which they shape to create" school and so I wonder what "create" solutions he could come up with towards bridging silos and fostering a teamwork environment.