This morning at work we had a ‘town hall meeting’ for all the staff. The VP in charge of our branch of the company did a good job inspiring us with the fact that we are uniquely positioned in the market. Many companies are moving away from traditional advertising and marketing and are moving toward doing conferences, team building, and fun events to build their brand—and that’s what we do.
Then he opened the floor for questions. A few people asked very intelligent questions. During the VP’s initial speech and throughout the high level Q&A the word ‘silo’ kept coming up. It was used to talk about no longer being segregated into silos, that we should move away from a silo mentality, etc.
I’ve always been fascinated by group dynamics. I often experiment with them. I love to go into a museum and just stand and examine a neglected painting. After a while a whole crowd gathers because they think they might be missing something. I was impatient with the tentative Q&A. I’d been introduced as a new person early in the meeting, so I figured I could get away with anything.
I raised my hand, “What’s a silo? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
As they answered the question (a silo is a group of people who only worry about their area without involving other members of the company), the whole room loosened up and people started asking much more gut level questions.
Tonight they implemented one of the suggestions that came up in the meeting. On Friday afternoons the managers bring around a drink cart for anyone who’s still working at 4:30. After my ignorant ice breaker, someone suggested having everyone gather around the drink cart instead of it traveling. Another person suggested moving it to different departments so we could get to know each other.
I just got back from mingling. I know I did a couple doom and gloom posts about work, but the last few weeks have been getting much better. Ever since finding out that Eeyore is not my supervisor, I’ve been better able to manage her and my clients and my projects. I’m really enjoying the job now. Drinking and chatting with more of the people who work here has just reinforced that impression.
So get out of the silo, people, drink up and ask the stupid question!