Culture Shifts Required for Success: Breaking Silos, Building Inclusivity & Collaboration


Karen Chovan, Enviro Integration Strategies

Study after study indicate that integrated, diverse and collaborative teams perform better, yet organizations continue to focus on increasing the numbers for diversity. In actuality, the basis for improved performance through diversity is not the numbers, although it does help - it is rather in the breaking of the cycle of same thinking. Most organizations still consist of siloed disciplines, and people focused on completing individual tasks without much interaction – in such a culture, we are trapped in small pools of “same & sole thinkers”. Adding on top of this problem are the very low rates of engagement across the nation. People just don’t care to engage, even when new team members are brought in. The success of any project or change is based upon having engaged, inclusive personnel, working together. Where the working environment invites and enables each and every employee to have a voice, to be empowered to make a difference, and to generally be engaged in their work. It is in such a culture that diversity of perspective and thought, knowledge and experience contribute to improving outcomes. Diversity of thought already exists within organizations, but they are housed in different silos - cross-discipline communication is necessary. And increasing diversity in other ways will only be successful if we can create an environment of inclusivity and collaboration, the basis of a Lean culture. This talk will highlight some of the ways that leaders can improve levels of engagement and collaboration within their teams, and across their organization. Lessons from various projects will help demonstrate why Lean practices work particularly well for facilitating collaboration and cultural shifts to improve performance – not just in projects, but also for change initiatives and in any team environment.
Keywords: Change, engagement, diversity, inclusivity, collaboration, lean