Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Crossing boundaries, breaking down silos

Those of you have known me for a while have heard this probably way too often, but it really bears repeating (at least until the whole world embraces this seemingly simple truth). A friend (sorry I cant remember who) pointed me to Jack Welch being a big proponent of this, even to the point of crediting the success of GE to his efforts towards cross-boundary collaboration. Sitting here with my friend Coleman in DC just now, this subject came up again. He wanted to know if I had a quote to cite, to which I replied, hold on a second, lets find it - all you need to know is how to search (to his point, most people dont, which is one of the ideas behind TagSpaces) Anyway, for those of you who want to see cited proof, here is what Jack Welch had to say in a letter to GE shareholders (found here as #1 search on Google for my query)
"Boundaryless behavior is the soul of today's GE.... People seem compelled to build layers and walls between themselves and others....These walls cramp people, inhibit creativity, waste time, restrict vision, smother dreams, and above all, slow things down.... The challenge is to chip away at and eventually break down these walls and barriers, both among ourselves and between ourselves and the outside world."

- Jack Welch, Former CEO Letter To GE Shareholders

Cool eh? Turns out I am not just making this up. This is one of the reasons I think BrainJams and my new idea for the format will be so successfull.


At Monday, August 07, 2006 3:43:00 AM, Anonymous snapdragon said...

I am going for an interview on Wednesday - in the person spec it asks for the characteristics of breaking down silos - I am very nervous about the interview as it is a job that I would like very much.

Those explanations of breaking down silos helped reinforce my confidence as they are my own inherent qualities.

However, people who try to break down silos often make themselves uppopular in the process. Try it with highway engineers. I'm still chipping.


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