AJC Playbook: How to Rally the Whole Team and Avoid Silos?

Now that your organization has a Strategic Roadmap in place, how can you ensure that all departments will work together to accomplish these broad goals, rather than each determining their own course of action that may or may not consider the team as a whole?

In his book, Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars, Patrick Lencioni describes how using a Thematic Goal will cut across departments and functions and align everyone in the organization to what needs to be done. The Thematic Goal is one that all groups can rally around independent of where they are in the organization and will therefore lead to greater cohesion and fewer Silos, where different functions may inadvertently act against one another when trying to achieve their own focused objectives.

The Thematic Goal is one that all groups can rally around independent of where they are in the organization and will therefore lead to greater cohesion and fewer Silos.

Lencioni’s definition of a Thematic Goal is:

“A single, qualitative focus that is shared by the entire Leadership Team, and ultimately, by the entire organization – and that applies for only a specified time period.” – Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars

If the Thematic Goal is to Standardize the Sales and Operating process, for example, Sales and Operations must work together rather than sub-optimizing within their own departments. And even Quality, Supply Chain, and Accounting must look at their touch points into the Sales and Operating process and try to collaboratively determine what they can do better to make the entire S&OP work better for the organization. No one group can do it alone, and since the Thematic Goal presupposes full Leadership Team alignment, every function’s leader will be supportive of activities within that theme.

As for the timeframe for the Thematic Goal, it is likely somewhere between 3-12 months; short enough that specific plans can be made to realize it, and not so long that the team will feel ill equipped to realize it. Even if it is beyond the quarter, however, specific initiatives can be chunked into 90-day timeframes to ensure progress is made to the goal.  The next step will be to determine what those Strategic Initiatives are that will move the needle towards the current Thematic Goal.

Working Genius Note – Thematic Goal / Rallying Cry

Finally, the Galvanizers have the opportunity to shine! The Thematic Goal is the quintessential Rallying Cry that Galvanizing geniuses will excitedly latch on to as they share plans and direction with the company. Galvanizing geniuses will test the message of the Thematic Goal with the Leadership Team to ascertain how inspirational it is and challenge the team to ensure that whatever is needed will truly motivate the organization to move the needle in the immediate future. Discerners should be able to help with refining the Thematic Goal, and the Enablement geniuses can share whether it resonates enough for them to feel comfortable jumping into action, to the point of pre-empting needs to execute.

Read the previous article in our AJC Playbook Series: How do we create a Strategic Roadmap Leading to our Vision?

Read the next article in the AJC Playbook Series: How to Prioritize which Strategic Initiatives will lead your Company to the type of growth you want?

Link back to AJC Playbook: Sharing our Methodology (and Running Table of Contents)