The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers by Gillian Tett

Summary
  1. People naturally build silos in order to deal with the world’s ever-growing complexity. However, both individuals and businesses need to be wary about silos as they limit creativity and effective communication. Remove silos by interacting both socially and professionally with a vast array of people and organizations
Key Takeaways
  1. Silos can be helpful in that they increase accountability and improve organization but they also discourage effective communication. In certain situations, additional accountability can in fact stifle a team or department
  2. A society’s physical space, its population and its culture are determined by its patterns of thought and its systems of classification
  3. Society isn’t just determined by the ideas it shares and identifies but also by the ideas it hides (taboos)
  4. Society shapes us but doesn’t trap us
  5. People need space, flexibility, and a free flow of ideas with people from different disciplines and silos discourage all of this
  6. In order to properly assess business risks, must be able to determine what other departments are doing
  7. Silos don’t only occur in business but also in your personal life, in your own mind. By interacting more with people outside your direct area of expertise or social group, you can begin breaking down your mental silos
What I got out of it
  1. Interact with a lot of different people and groups so that you continuously get fresh ideas/perspectives and don’t silo yourself or your business