Thursday, 26 July 2012

Of shoes and ships and silo-busting

Interesting piece by Gillian Tett in the FT:

"After all, for every example of “silo jumping” occurring in a university, government department or company today, there are numerous counter examples, where tunnel vision and tribalism predominate, and may be growing in power. The structure of most academic careers and research grants reinforces intellectual silos, and the growing complexity of technical operations in government and corporate bureaucracies tends to give “specialists” entrenched power. If employees or researchers are going to jump across boundaries, they need resources, or “slack”, and that tends to vanish at times of economic pain ... But there again, history suggests that the most powerful forms of innovation tend to happen when silo busting does occur. What defines whether a group or individual will be successful is whether somebody is mastered and trapped by silos – or can master and reorder them as needs and opportunities arise."

Words to live by in these interesting times ...