How Virtual is Breaking Down Silos and Increasing Enterprise Awareness


What if I were to tell you that one of the many benefits of the new normal virtual working environment isvirtual-team-business that employees are seeing and working across the business enterprise and breaking down silos for better collaboration in ways that are exponentially better than they were before?

While many of today’s workers may be reaching their saturation point of virtual meetings, there is an interesting phenomenon happing. In a recent leadership development program I was conducting, one of the participants explained it this way:

“I work in a manufacturing plant in a remote part of the state. People in other functions from around the globe rarely visited us or had anything to do with us. But now, we are having meetings all day with salespeople, finance people, supply chain people, and we are now understanding their business perspectives and challenges in ways we never thought possible.”

In other words, employees aren’t stuck in their silos anymore. They aren’t stuck in the same daily routine devoid of the critical interactions with other functions that drive better collaboration. As a result of this unrealized and disruptive change in the way employees are collaborating better together there is a renewed need for enhanced Business Acumen skills to take advantage of the opportunity to increase business performance.

An increased view and perspective of the complete enterprise can impact the following key business metrics:

Increased Revenues

A deeper understanding of how the complete enterprise works lets all functions accelerate the complete sales process. The commercial functions have better insights into market trends, the supply chain has better insights into forecasts, and manufacturing has better insights into the supply chain.

Increased Profitability

As revenues increase, profitability increases in at least two ways. First, the acceleration of revenues and the shortening of the sales cycle means there is less time and expense in the process immediately increasing profitable revenues. Secondly, when functions talk together and have greater empathy for each other, there is less waste and costs which increases overall profitability.

Increased Employee Satisfaction and Engagement

I think the greatest impact of this unrealized change is the significant increase in employee satisfaction. The majority of employees want to work hard and work with purpose. Toxic, siloed, and conflict-ridden workplaces are no fun and suck the life out of people. In this new world of greater collaboration and virtual relationship building, there are many more chances to feel engaged with the work and accomplishment through teamwork and better processes.

“It’s so much more enriching to use the tools like Teams and have all the files and collaboration right in front of you 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We can have teams in Asia leaving us messages, videos, and data while we are sleeping and then when we get up, we have a quick collaboration check in and away we go. We would have never thought of that before the pandemic.

In summary, we are going to be learning about the benefits of the new normal for many years to come. One of those benefits is that the access to collaboration using the remote tools has broken down siloes and created greater understanding and empathy for all functions across the enterprise. Businesses have a unique window and moment in time to take advantage of this and to invest in the Business Acumen skills needed to make better decisions that drive better results.

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Robert Brodo

About The Author

Robert Brodo is co-founder of Advantexe. He has more than 20 years of training and business simulation experience.