Avoiding the ‘silo mentality’

by Dan Malovany
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Learning from your mistakes is a great education, but that approach can be very costly to your company’s bottom line, to a product’s time-to-market and to your personal sanity, especially if “the silo mentality” characterizes the way your company runs. That’s what Theresa Cogswell, Baking & Snack’s contributing editor, learned over the years.

It doesn’t matter if the projected savings, R.O.I. or throughput data concerning a new project or emerging technology all indicate the choice is correct. Ms. Cogswell rightly noted that the dreaded silo mentality — caused when several departments or groups do not want to share information or knowledge with other individuals in the same company — often reduces efficiency and can be a contributing factor to a failing corporate structure.

Silos lead to unintended consequences. And even when departments go into the project with the best of intentions, such consequences can cause the effort to backfire.

“A solution that solves one or two or three problems but creates another is not a good solution,” Ms. Cogswell stressed.

She added that there are many departments, if not all, in a company that should weigh in when changing a current method or developing a different process for a new or existing product. So don’t make the same mistakes over and over again. Find out how to avoid them by reading Ms. Cogswell’s column in the December issue of Baking & Snack.
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