Episode #29: Dismantling the Dysfunction of Silos

Ever worked for an organization that had no cross-departmental communication or information sharing between departments? The notion that power struggles simply cannot exist between functional areas of an organization is absurd. The unfortunate truth is, it’s human nature for leaders to behave this way, and the longer this counterproductive structure exists in an organization, the harder it is to break it down.

When senior leaders plan their organizational design and build its foundation, they rarely consider what they will do when their leaders create silos, engage in power struggles, and fail to align with the organization’s objectives. It’s as if they think their organization is immune to the same dysfunctions that other businesses face, and so they don’t develop skills to deal with these challenges when they arise.

In today’s episode, we discuss the Dysfunction of Silos and share some practical tips that you can start using today if your organization is suffering from cross departmental communication issues and power struggles. We’ll also share real client stories that illustrate just how common it is to find this type of leadership behavior in organizations today. Tune in to learn all about the Dysfunction of Silos and discover what you can do to break down the barriers responsible for blocking your organization’s success.

If you want to know more about Anne & Heather’s work with dismantling dysfunctions in organizations and leadership behavior at Caliber Leadership Systems, check out:




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Are you dealing with an organizational dysfunction you need help with? Or do you have a story you would like to share on our show? Contact us at [email protected].



  • [01:44] Episode introduction and overview
  • [02:30] What is the Dysfunction of Silos?
  • [09:27] Silos create lack of cohesion
  • [13:16] Define leadership competencies
  • [16:53] Communication systems and strategies
  • [20:20] Organization-wide communication framework
  • [26:03] Manage behavior
  • [29:44] Episode gem & practical takeaway
  • [31:48] Episode wrap up



  • The Dysfunction of Silos occurs due to too much autonomy in functions. Silos are characterized by the absence of sharing information, goals, timelines, or processes with other groups. This dysfunction starts from a mindset that believes holding on to information is power.
  • More often than not, the leader of a siloed function believes that they are entitled to lead their group how they see fit. This individual possesses a “You are either with us or against us” mindset.
  • The Silo Mindset interferes with cross-departmental communication, causing issues to arise between employees in different departments. 
  • Think you might be suffering from issues caused by the Dysfunction of Chaos in your workplace? Listen to the full episode to learn some practical tips on how you can start dismantling the Dysfunction of Chaos today!


"Deciding to compensate for poor performance instead of managing it is an act of self- disempowerment."
episode 18 quote tile 2 - "When acting from the Victim Leadership Persona, our power and sense of personal agency is taken away by seeing situations through a  lens of helplessness."
episode 18 quote tile 3 - "Self-disempowerment starts from within. Leaders need to recognize when they are keeping their self-esteem low."
episode 18 - quote tile 4 - "Leaders need to watch that they aren't being pulled into the position  of rescuer when interacting with employees."

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