Uncooperative Teams: 10 Telltale Signs

Does your enterprise have a division or a team that stands walled off from what is happening inside other divisions or teams? Our current economic situation seems to be driving the increasing formation of work silos, resulting in a lack of communication and cooperation between two entities in the same business at a time when such collaboration is needed more than ever.

Resources are certainly less abundant than they had been. And resources can mean people, materials or budgets–anything that is needed to get the job done. One manager does not have enough resources to handle the workload, but another manager chooses not to share his or her resources. Yet, they are both working toward the same overall goals.

It could be that one manager needs an additional person in his or her group. The manager on the other team sends over the lowest-performing employee. When the receiving manager sees that this newest member is a poor performer, he or she loses trust in the other manager.

Another cause of silos is when one leader instructs a team–directly or indirectly–to mistrust another group. The danger here is that such mistrust can grow so intense that two divisions end up being more competitive with each other than they are with external competition. Internal competition can be motivating, but not at the cost of organizational goals.

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