Synergy versus Silos: Synergy is the process of combining the efforts of individuals or organizations to operate at level greater than the combined talent of the individual members. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Said another way, in this process, teams produce greater results together than the total combined results of working separately.
For example, let’s say that companies X, Y, and Z earn a total of $5 million working separately. However, by merging their talent, knowledge, skills, networks, and other tools, these three companies earn $10 million.
The efforts of the synergistic teams do more than add more more assembly lines. These teams mesh as a unit. A football team is an example. Small quick running backs run through holes that huge power lineman an create.
Large, national search firms have many recruiters collecting and feeding information into a shared database. Managed properly, these firms can become powerful through the shared information in their system. However, these recruiters must have training that makes their efforts work in the best interest of everyone in the company.
In my own experience, I teamed up with other recruiters to share work. By combining our resources, each of us made more money than we were working alone. I had recruiting contracts and job applicants. The other firms had different recruiting contracts and different job applicants. Together, we each made more money.
Furthermore, by working with each other we made money faster. For example, with the help in recruiting candidates, we could spend more time developing new clients or hiring companies. By having more clients, each of us had more companies to place our database of applicants.
These two factors working together gave us all more security.
Synergy versus Silos
We coordinated our work through regular calls to discuss our progress in current assignments. Each person could then prioritize their work based on the progress of each search.
In any company, each department has a different function. Sales planning does sales planning. Marketing does marketing. Research and development department does research and development. Manufacturing produces the product.
In the end, the company must produce a successful product or service. One way to perform these tasks is to have each department complete a task. Then the company hands the project to the next logical team. The concept is that a successful project is the result of a series of efforts among different people or different departments.
However, this system of management can lead to snares and mistakes. For example, if a company doesn’t recognize mistakes early in the process, the company must backtrack to workout product issues. The result can be costly in terms of finance, time, and product delays.
On the other hand, teams or departments can meet regularly to evaluate, adapt, and correct mistakes before moving a flawed product further through the system. Working in a silo, teams or departments may perform at their highest potential. But they are at risk of lost money and lost time.
However, companies that routinely bring these departments together can adapt and refine the process for more successful results. The company becomes a synergistic team. The result is that the company’s results are greater the individual efforts of each team working a silo.