The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers (Hardcover)
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From award-winning columnist and journalist Gillian Tett comes a brilliant examination of how our tendency to create functional departments—silos—hinders our work…and how some people and organizations can break those silos down to unleash innovation.
One of the characteristics of industrial age enterprises is that they are organized around functional departments. This organizational structure results in both limited information and restricted thinking. The Silo Effect asks these basic questions: why do humans working in modern institutions collectively act in ways that sometimes seem stupid? Why do normally clever people fail to see risks and opportunities that later seem blindingly obvious? Why, as psychologist Daniel Kahneman put it, are we sometimes so “blind to our own blindness”?
Gillian Tett, journalist and senior editor for the Financial Times, answers these questions by plumbing her background as an anthropologist and her experience reporting on the financial crisis in 2008. In The Silo Effect, she shares eight different tales of the silo syndrome, spanning Bloomberg’s City Hall in New York, the Bank of England in London, Cleveland Clinic hospital in Ohio, UBS bank in Switzerland, Facebook in San Francisco, Sony in Tokyo, the BlueMountain hedge fund, and the Chicago police. Some of these narratives illustrate how foolishly people can behave when they are mastered by silos. Others, however, show how institutions and individuals can master their silos instead. These are stories of failure and success.
From ideas about how to organize office spaces and lead teams of people with disparate expertise, Tett lays bare the silo effect and explains how people organize themselves, interact with each other, and imagine the world can take hold of an organization and lead from institutional blindness to 20/20 vision.
About the Author
Gillian Tett oversees global coverage of the financial markets for the Financial Times, the world’s leading newspaper covering finance and business. In 2007 she was awarded the Wincott prize, the premier British award for financial journalism, and in 2008 was named British Business Journalist of the Year. Tett is the author of Saving the Sun: How Wall Street Mavericks Shook Up Japan’s Financial World and Made Billions and The Silo Effect: Ordered Chaos, the Peril of Expertise, and the Power of Breaking Down Barriers.
Praise for THE SILO EFFECT
“Highly intelligent, enjoyable and enlivened by a string of vivid case studies. It is also genuinely important, because her prescription for curing the pathological silo-isation of business and government isr efreshingly unorthodox and, in my view, convincing.” —Financial Times
“A complex topic and lively writing make this an enjoyable call to action for better integration within organizations.”— Publishers Weekly
"In“The Silo Effect” she applies her anthropologist’s lens to the problem of why so many organizations still suffer from a failure to communicate. It’s a profound idea, richly analyzed."— The Wall Street Journal
"’Silo’has become a cliché among management consultants—and executives trying to hang onto their jobs by speaking the language of the au courant—but Tett gives the metaphor life in her engaging, case-study-filled new book.” —New York Post
“The Silo Effect comes across in print much as Tett comes across in person—sharp, insightful, and concise. And the book, which is informed as much by her training as an academic anthropologist as by her experience covering the global financial crisis, is an excellent attempt to help both organizations and individuals figure out how to harness the benefits of specialization without creating tunnel vision.”—Strategy+Business
"In “The Silo Effect” she applies her anthropologist’s lens to the problem of why so many organizations still suffer from a failure to communicate. It’s a profound idea, richly analyzed."
"’Silo’ has become a cliché among management consultants—and executives trying to hang onto their jobs by speaking the language of the au courant—but Tett gives the metaphor life in her engaging, case-study-filled new book.”