It’s important that people get exposure to roles outside their typical responsibilities, according to Evan Rosen, author of The Bounty Effect: 7 Steps to the Culture of Collaboration. “So everybody has at least some understanding of what makes other functions tick,” he says.
My interview with Rosen is in the latest issue of MDM Premium. Read it here.
One way to get employees to break out of silos in an organization is to implement a form of “officer training,” Rosen says.
He cites Evernote Corporation, a software company, which uses officer training – modeled off of a U.S. Navy program – to develop leaders. The Navy uses this on nuclear submarines because being an officer requires that you learn every job. Evernote makes sure that every meeting includes somebody randomly scheduled who is not supposed to be there.
They aren’t just sitting in; they are expected to participate fully in the meeting, even asking obvious questions, which Rosen says forces the others at the meeting to explain why they are doing what they are doing. It gives them another opportunity to think things through.
“Not only does the random participant learn about another function, but also the other participants get additional perspective on the task or decision at hand,” he says. “Many organizations can benefit from the officer training approach.”
Read the interview with Rosen: Building a Collaborative Culture