Why we are now bridge builders

Duncan Stephen
Tuesday 26 August 2014

From intranet to net-work: the rise of the digital bridge builder

Partly following on from developments at the University, and partly on discussions at IWMW, I have been thinking a lot recently about the siloed nature of our organisation and what role a digital team should have. This Gerry McGovern article is an interesting take, and crystallises some of my current thinking.

In this year’s World Cup, Portugal had Ronaldo, Argentina had Messi, Brazil had Neymar, Uruguay had Suarez, while Germany had a team. Organizations often excel at creating teams that work well within individual silos but perform poorly when it comes to creating effective cross-silo teams…

Firstly, you need to link up the silos in a logical and intuitive way. The silos can still exist underneath, but on the surface customers need a common, easy-to-use interface. On the network, the interface (look and feel) is the system, the interface is the organization. The interface has no particular place. It exists in the network and connects the employee wherever they need to do work, whether in the office, on the road, or at home. It doesn’t need to belong to one software system or technology.

Secondly, you need to build bridges between people from different silos. Your most important work here will be to convince management to create shared metric objectives across silos, and a shared language for how you organize things. (A common information architecture.)

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