'Silo' – four letters and two syllables that can furrow the brows of any strategic planning executive.
Regardless of the size of your organisation and how many departments it has, getting everyone involved with the strategy and sharing a consistent plan is key to success. However, the disjointed nature of many organisations, where departments are increasingly becoming isolated into silos, is presenting a major obstacle.
The reality is that every department needs to work in conjunction for the greater good of the organisation. For example, the heavily budget-focused nature of marketing's operations means it needs regular input and assistance from accounting.
So just how do you harness everyone across your organisation and implement collaborative strategic planning?
Start from the top
Having a good blend of top-down and bottom-up approaches is crucial for effective strategic planning.
One of the reasons the former is so important is that the overarching vision of the organisation must be communicated from the top. If this is transmitted throughout the company from the outset, it can help ensure that everyone starts on the same page – and stays together during the journey.
Have organisation-wide goals
It's a common habit among business departments to have their own goals and objectives to work towards.
While many departments do this to help stay focused on their individual function and targets, it can be detrimental to collaborative strategic management. Being restricted to department-specific goals could lead to individual silos heading off on entirely different tangents.
You should therefore implement goals that apply to the organisation as a whole, and can be measured and tracked across departments.
Map it out!
One of the reasons organisations tend to break down into silos is simply because there are so many departments.
It can be difficult to integrate the different departments across your company and provide a holistic picture of your strategy's progress. Strategy mapping software offers one solution – it generates a graphical representation of your strategy, informing everyone of their unique place in its framework.