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Collaborating not competing

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My organisation can't move forward whilst we continue to work in silos. What can I do to ensure my staff work more collaboratively?end quote

Silo working is often driven by a fear of what an individual might lose if people and teams start to work more collaboratively. This can be a particularly thorny problem during an economic downturn when staff may already fear job losses so tend to act out of self interest. Keeping clear communication channels open with your staff and treating them like adults is crucial. Involving your staff in your business strategy, making them feel valued and seeking their advice on what could be changed to drive improvement through your business is also key to collaborative working and staff engagement. This will help them understand that they are working towards a common purpose and more can be achieved if they work collaboratively rather than competitively.

The NHS is often described as being ‘tribal’ or comprising a number of professional ‘fiefdoms’. We have worked across NHS regions and organisations to surface and address the issues that lead to siloed working. We’ve designed and run workshops to help different professions understand the perceptions others have of them and look at how these perceptions reflect their own views. From this, we’ve put in place action plans to generate a shared understanding of business outcomes, what they can do to make a difference and work more effectively as teams, hence breaking down the barriers that cause silos to emerge.

Collaborating, not competing, is what makes culture change happen.