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Jack Welch’s Approach to Breaking Down Silos Still Works

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This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Harvard Business Review and examines why many organizations continue to operate in fragmented silos, instead of focusing on improving cross-departmental collaboration.

In theory, technology has sped up the way we communicate and has allowed us to make real-time decisions. New productivity tools like video conferencing, instant messaging, and virtual workspaces promise to create a hyper-connected global workforce. In reality, it just adds to the confusion and most communication continues to get lost in translation. That’s why we need to go back to the basics.

Jack Welch’s Approach to Breaking Down Silos Still Works advocates adopting the “Work-Out” process - a series of structured and facilitated forums, bringing people together across levels, functions, and geographies to solve problems and make decisions in real time. The key is physically getting people in the same room, at the same time, and focusing on solving the issue at hand.

What walls need to be brought down in your organization?

“I learned this from working with senior executives at one of the world’s largest high-tech engineering companies recently, who were concerned that many of their big customer programs were over budget and behind schedule. After some investigating, they discovered that their fragmented, geographically dispersed matrix structure made it very difficult for the program managers to coordinate efforts across functions, keep everyone focused on the cost and delivery goals, and get people to reach consensus.”

Read the article.

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