— Silent killers of Synergy
Here’s a story to set the context:
A holy man was having a conversation with God one day and said, ‘ God , I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.’
God led the holy man to two doors.
He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in.
In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water.
The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished.
They were holding spoons with very long handles, that were strapped to their arms and each found it impossible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.
But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.
The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.
God said, ‘You have seen Hell.’
They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one.
There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water.
The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, ‘I don’t understand.’
It is simple,’ said God . ‘It requires but one skill.
You see they have learned to feed each other,
While the greedy think only of themselves.’
So, the thin and sickly people sitting around the roundtable in hell behave like silos in organizations. Just like silos, they’re self-serving and forgotten how to help each other like those in heaven.
In meetings, this self serving tendency becomes very much evident when one gets to hear only what they’re not getting from other stakeholders. Apparently, it appears to them that they’re saving their faces by highlighting holdups to their work and so they’re not the culprits to be blamed for lack of progress.
However, they miss the bigger picture while serving their selfish interests. They tend to ignore what they need to give or help other stakeholders to make progress. This could in turn help them get what they need sooner.
The only way out of this mess is to consciously focus on what they need to give to other stakeholders first.
A simple tip to implement this during meetings is to make all the participants first announce what fronts they have made available to others.
This will instantly create feel good ambience within the meeting and opens up the possibilities to get the help needed from others!
Moreover, it enhances mutual trust among stakeholders and improves collaborative synergy!
So, instead of being silent killers of synergy, silos would get dismantled to self organizing systems which facilitate smooth give and take for ensuring timely progress!
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