Cross-Silo Leadership

Synergizing with other silos is tough business…but it’s necessary business.

Here’s the data: Harvard researchers have uncovered that customer loyalty and higher margins are both facilitated by a collaborative team willing to cross departmental borders.

Whereas silo-stuck companies tend to profit less and see higher customer churn. This is more than mere correlation; it’s causation.

They just don’t know how to make their model work for them rather than against them.

So the question is posed: how do we sync our silos and lead well across the boundaries of departments and expertise?

This insightful piece (linked below) challenges us with 4 actionable ideas.


1. Who is your bridge?

Getting from one side of the gap to the other requires a bridge. This bridge should be an individual in your organization who acts as an enthusiastic go-between. More than a bureaucratic liaison, this person glues departments together, promotes multi-disciplinary efforts, and ultimately is an ambassador from one silo to the next. Be intentional about your selection and develop these boundary breakers ASAP. And learn to become one.


2. What questions are you asking?

When interacting with a department that’s not your own, avoid yes-or-no questions or overly general going-nowhere-type questions. Instead, make specific inquiries that help you to understand their processes and timelines. Hire for curiosity. Folks inclined to inquire can be natural boundary breakers, in all the right ways.


3. Are you instilling empathy?

We’ve all seen other departments referred to as “the bottleneck” or “the bureaucrats”. We tend to think the block to progress is always the other guy. Yet, sound leaders are able to drop us v. them jargon and help their team understand and relate to the processes and perspectives of the other players involved. Once you learn the native language of each of your stakeholders and partners, then you can begin to have real influence and trusted interactions that gain traction.


4. Are you deploying special teams?

Special teams are just that, unique units organized around a specific task. One way to encourage cross-organization collaboration is to compile a team from diverse silos to tackle a one-off or special initiative. Employees will explore distance networks, create bonds with those across the aisle, and ultimately be more comfortable pinging those beyond their department in future work. This is the sort of networking that even the woo-aversive folks will love because it renders tangible results for all involved.

Breaking free from silo-based saboteurs benefits company morale and culture, in addition to bottom lines and customer fidelity. But it’s tricky to figure out and expertly navigate.

Read the full piece to learn the techniques that will help you become a boundary-breaking influencer, leading above the walls and red tape. And showing others the way too.CLICK HERE for the full article.

Coach Faith



Cross-Silo Leadership

How to create more value by connecting experts from inside and outside the organization
“In today’s economy everyone knows that finding new ways to combine an organization’s diverse knowledge is a winning strategy for creating lasting value. But it doesn’t happen unless employees have the opportunities and tools to work together productively across silos. To unleash the potential of horizontal collaboration, leaders must equip people to learn and to relate to one another across cultural and logistical divides.”
Faith Csikesz

Faith Csikesz

CLBC, Founder, Principal Coach

Accelerated Leadership Development
Executive & Professional Coach; Leadership Advisor

Faith Csikesz is a highly requested Executive Coach with a proven track record of nearly two decades of leadership coaching, organizational development, performance innovation and talent diagnostics.