During a visit with a senior vice president last week we spent some time discussing how to align his business for execution of some new marketing strategies. During our discussion he stopped one of his managers who was wandering by and asked if he had a few minutes to meet with him during the next week to review our discussions and determine how he and his team could best support the strategy.
The employee, to my shock, responded to my clients question by stating that he was too busy to support anything related to marketing. Then, and here comes the kicker, he said “You know, I think we need to put this marketing stuff on hold for a while.”
I just about fell out of my chair! I mean, by no means am I a marketing consultant, but is this guy so daft to believe that marketing can simply be shelved until a more convenient time? Our conversation then shifted to how to engage his staff around the strategy, which brings me to my point.
Are you challenged to align employees with your vision? Our studies have shown that most senior leaders and business owners are, and the reasons are not what you might think.
There are several attributes to building engagement, however there is one that stands above the rest. Are you ready for it?
A lack of understanding of how the business functions – otherwise known as functional silos.
You know why most businesses have them? They wrongfully believe that by having people specialize in roles, they quickly increase knowledge and can be more effective in their specific role. Now there is some truth to this, but understand that while functional silos may build expertise quickly, and then also limit knowledge about the impacts of decisions.
So the next time you seek to build engagement, consider the composition of your team, of your department or of your business. If there are functional silo’s you will need to bring a pick and axe. Breaking down silos is the first step in building meaningful engagement.
© Shawn Casemore 2013. All rights reserved.
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