Breaking Through Siloed Organizations
Silos exist in every organization larger than a small business startup.
However, we are taught to believe that silos are bad.
That is where we are wrong!
Silos must exist for an organization to operate–we want them to exist. Silos exist in our organizational structure, in our culture, in our processes, in our technology–they exist everywhere throughout our organizations. We spend all our time trying to break down silos, when we find them, but we are not dealing with the root causes of the problem and the silos will always re-form. The problem is, silos, left unchecked, can create shortsightedness in organizations!
Shortsighted organizations–those that fail to see the big picture or fail to have a strategic long-term vision–suffer from Organizational Myopia (OM). An organization suffering from OM is less effective or efficient at fulfilling its mission or is unable to do so at all. Any organization; large, midsized, or small, is naturally susceptible to OM, and most suffer from it. Unfortunately, the normal quick-fix methodologies, often employed by leaders and managers to deal with the silos where OM resides, usually result in ineffective short-term solutions.
If this is so, how do we solve OM? Any leader can act to solve the negative effects of OM, once they are identified. However, successfully overcoming OM requires the consistent and systematic application of a full-spectrum of strategic and organizational improvement methods.
From a technical and teaching perspective, this book provides you with the tools to break through silos and improve any organization facing OM-related issues. As a guide, reference, and roadmap, this book is designed to provide you with strategic and organizational methods that you can apply, like a surgeon, to identify and eradicate specific OM issues within your organization.
"John Knotts and his book, Overcoming Organizational Myopia: Breaking Through Siloed Organizations places the emphasis on where it’s needed -- focusing on the people, building a culture of leadership, and showing a way how an organization can operate better as an organization. He accomplishes this by illuminating the perils that need to be avoided and the challenges that need to be overcome -- offering the reader insight and guidance on how to integrate an organization horizontally and not just optimize processes within an organization's functional siloes. The manner in which he delivers this guidance is very effective. His story-telling brings to life the lessons and wisdom he is sharing and makes the book very relatable to those who are responsible for helping a company become a high-performance organization."
~ Joseph Parish (ARC)
“Ever wondered why, when Technology and Automation solutions have grown leaps and bounds, many organizations are still struggling to even survive. It should have been a no-brainer to turn around an organization that is failing on all fronts with Technology, Innovation, Customer Focus, etc., in their armoury. But does adoption of technology and innovation alone solve an Organization’s problem? Perhaps not! CEOs and bright young minds from some of the best institutions in the world still are finding it difficult to put a finger on the problem. Besides looking outward, looking inwards perhaps may help. When we meditate in India, we chant the mantra “OM” to focus and centre to go deep inside oneself. I guess John Knotts’ has now identified a similar mantra “OM” - Organizational Myopia--one that can be a tool for CEOs to centre themselves! Overcoming Organizational Myopia: Breaking Through Siloed Organizations, is a fantastic primer for any CEO who wants to turn around her organization. Here, in this book, John gently guides a CEO to see where the rot is lurking. He lays out, backed by enormous experience, nine key areas, which, when unattended, leads to a typical rot in an organization. John doesn’t just talk of the source of the problem, but also prescribes the various steps to be taken to overcome OM. His book addresses both the Why and How of the challenges a CEO comes across, in a siloed organization. John goes beyond saying what is wrong. Having had the good fortune to interact with many decision-makers and having consulted with them from a Technology Solution perspective and in some cases not seeing any improvement subsequently, I firmly believe that the approach laid out by John will be a great help in steering an organization clear of OM. I have worked with and known John for quite some time. John brings his vast experience and knowledge to the table in identifying and helping businesses solve issues. This book is a consolidation of all that experience. This book is not just a must-read but a must adopt and adapt for CEOs”
~ Vendantam Ayyangar (ARC)
“In his new book Overcoming Organizational Myopia: Breaking Through Stovepipe Organizations, John Knotts has written a book filled with simple, straightforward, common-sense approaches to dealing with issues affecting operational excellence. Knotts does a good job of laying out his argument and the premises for the argument. He effectively describes his operational terms and their respective definitions, the underlying reasons for myopia and what he refers to as the creation of organizational siloes, and then laying the foundation for what Organizational Myopia (OM) is and what, then, can be done about it. I particularly liked his argument against the application of organization design and restructuring, used by so many management groups to treat the underlying problems associated with OM. He uses a case study throughout to expose the elements of the argument and its related issues. Then connects it to an important principle in the Quality Improvement area - Deming’s 14th point of breaking down barriers throughout the organization as a path to organizational effectiveness. Following the laying out of his rationale for dealing with OM, he goes on to describe a set of action elements for dealing with it. I particularly liked how he set this up with a Table of Strategic and Organizational Methods for Dealing with OM as his introduction to the various methods of treatment. He effectively uses this to introduce his preferred approach then identifies many of the underlying elements that contribute to OM, followed by what can reasonably be expected in terms of results and, as importantly, who the target audience is. The remainder of the book is an elucidation of each of those methods and how each element of the target audience can use them. All-in-all, a logical and reasonable approach to dealing with an infectious problem that many organizations experience. I think the book is well laid-out, logical in its flow, interesting to read, and will be very useful to the reader.”
~ Richard J. Buckles (ARC)
“Spectacular, powerful, and practical lessons learned, ready for immediate application in the private, public, Government, Military, and the NGOs sectors throughout the world! You want to innovate. You want your organization to strive. You want your business to excel. Then, free yourself and them from the shackles of the organizational siloes. Relish the power of communication, cooperation, coordination, and collaboration (4Cs) to drive exponential growth and value creation. Applicable at all levels of the organization, John Knotts’ book, Overcoming Organizational Myopia, is a spectacular leadership strategy, practical roadmap, and powerful management process designed to help you and your business analyze, navigate and break through the silos of the organization. Read this book, then read it again. Learn it, and apply it. It is the strategic, operational, and tactical weapon you and your organization should have to innovate, strive, and excel.”
~ Grigor Bambekov (ARC)
“Overcoming Organizational Myopia: Breaking Through Siloed Organizations is exceptionally relevant to every organization I am a part of. It probably will be to you too. John Knotts does an exceptional job of not only diagnosing frustrating barriers to organizational effectiveness but also bringing clear and concise solutions. After reading this book, the world at work will make a lot more sense, and leaders will be empowered to change. Reading this book is like getting corrective lenses for your organization’s nearsightedness. I’ve really enjoyed reading your book.”
~ Brent Fessler (ARC)
“The writing style in Overcoming Organizational Myopia: Breaking Through Siloed Organizations is easy to follow. Unlike some business books, this one is a quick read. It’s clear that you’re passionate about the subject.”
~ John Copulsky (ARC)
"I have spent that past 30 years as an internal or external consultant to a wide variety of organizations, helping them to become better versions of themselves. I wish this book had been written when I first started that journey - it would have made the path much clearer! In Understanding Organizational Myopia author John Knotts tackles one of the most pervasive myths in business - that organizational silos are bad. John argues that silos are not inherently bad, but in fact, are necessary for any large organization to function effectively. The root problem is not the silos, but the shortsightedness, or myopia, that they create that can derail the best organizations.
In the book we follow the journey of Myopia.org as the leader, Kevin, attempts to deal with the results of years of myopic culture. Despite his best intentions and efforts, the business seems to be in a steady decline by almost all measures. As Kevin starts to understand the shortsightedness within the organization and take appropriate actions we see things take a turn, for the better!
This book provides a step-by-step guide for assessing your organization, identifying the root cause of your myopia, and making strategic and tactical changes to put your organization where you want it to be. I highly recommend this book for all organizational leaders, change agents, and anyone interested in improving the performance of their organization."
~ Carson Miller (Amazon)
"John Knotts hit the nail on the head in this book. Highly recommended read. If you work for an organization - small or large-- chances are you will identify with the costly situations presented in this book and really grasp why these happen. The good thing is that the author also provides a great roadmap for overcoming such problems - for leaders and for the front-line people responsible for doing the work. From my read, I think the author has worked with organizations and effectively applied solutions that he has now included in this very valuable book."
~ Samuel Yankelevitch (Amazon)
"John Knotts writes openly about his own experience as a COO and executive coach in helping companies that have lost communication within. When departments, or silos, stop communicating with each other or believe their way is the only way problems arise within the entire company. John explains clearly how it happens and how to overcome Organizational Myopia before a company completely loses the ability to communicate."
~ Jane Lehman (Amazon)
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