Does your organization have “silo mentality”?
A Common Scenario:
Facility: We manage our own emergency program and don’t need help from the corporate office
Corporate: How will you respond to an emergency?
Facility: We have a plan for that.
Corporate: What does the plan state you will say to the media?
Facility: That’s your responsibility.
Corporate: We will need to know details of the emergency to ensure our messaging is congruent with what’s happening at the facility.
Facility: …………………………….. Maybe we should do some joint planning and exercises to make sure we are on the same page?
Corporate: Fantastic, let’s get started today.
Whether it’s a facility or other location as outlined above, or a department or group within the enterprise, the above scenario is common inside many corporate, government, and non-government organizations. This is often referred to as the “silo mentality”.
The silo mentality occurs when one or more groups decide not to share information or knowledge within the same organization. This is often a cultural issue that usually stems from weak leadership. During a crisis, there needs to be trust between all internal and external stakeholders. If there’s trust, all responding teams will be able to coordinated more efficiently reducing potential damage to the organizations brand and reputation.
So, how do we avoid or at least start to reduce the silo mentality?
- Create a shared vision within the crisis management framework (it’s all about the team and not any one individual)
- Build strong intercompany relationships with regular cross-functional events (meetings, training and other team building events such as social gatherings)
- Crisis leaders should create an environment where trust and openness are accepted and practiced
- Build reputational capital by cultivating external relationships with key stakeholders
- Conduct regular scenario planning exercises and validate the team’s ability to work within a realistic emergency environment (this builds trust)
A silo mentality can’t exist within a crisis management framework as the organizations ability to manage, respond and recover from the incident will be significantly restricted.