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Use Traction® Tools to Tear Down Silos Between Departments

09/05/2019

Use Traction® Tools to Tear Down Silos Between Departments

It was one of the biggest complaints we had among our departments at Traction® Tools. “We didn’t know this. Nobody came back and told us that.” Silos. Like ants at a picnic, suddenly they were there, and they were all over the place.

Usually we saw it between Engineering, Support and Marketing. Engineering would push out a new feature, but they didn’t communicate it to other departments. Next thing you know, the support team is freaking out because they’re flooded with tickets. Everybody’s asking where that one button suddenly disappeared to and the support team is scrambling to figure out what just broke in the software. Turns out nothing broke—there’s just a fantastic new feature no one was ready for. 

So what happened? Someone in the Leadership Team’s Level 10 Meeting™ was supposed to cascade a message to other departments. They walked out of the meeting, got slammed with fires to put out and assumed someone else would pass the message along. (They didn’t.)

Even though we were running on the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, human error still found ways to silo different teams from each other. 

Handpicked related content: 5 Team-Boosting Communication Hacks You Never Thought Of

Then it clicked: what if we could use Traction Tools software to break down some of those walls between departments? If we were experiencing this issue at Traction Tools, maybe our clients were, too. So we did some case studies and beta testing with our clients and guess what: it wasn’t just us!

Silos in a Company Running on EOS®?

We discovered that many of our clients had siloed departments in their organizations, because human nature kept creeping in. Things weren’t always communicated from one department to another. Maybe a decision was made in a Level 10 Meeting, but it stayed within the department, when other departments should have been informed or consulted. 

EOS provides a dependable process to keep you accountable for To-Dos and cascading messages, but it’s up to you to follow it! Typically, you have to make time to go to another department’s meeting, or you need to write up an email that’s succinct but also highly detailed. Either way, it can take a lot of time to communicate properly. 

Plus, it’s just plain harder to communicate something twice—once to your team, and once to the next department. You’re bound to forget something or misrepresent a piece of information. Or you won’t have all the answers they need.

But what if you could just push an Issue to another meeting? Just click a button, and everything is fully communicated? Here’s how we updated Traction Tools to tear down the silos in our company, and in yours.

Share Your Issues

If you want to tear down silos, you’ve got to start sharing. So we made it easy to share information. Traction Tools lets your team share Issues and People Headlines with other departments. Just click on a button and move the item to any Level 10 Meeting Agenda in your organization. Add all the notes they need for context, and everything within the Issue or People Headline gets moved over to the other team.

And just like that, you’ve torn down a communication silo!

Sharing items with other Level 10 Meetings lets you control exactly what’s communicated. There’s no he-said/she-said, and your messaging is consistent with every department you’re sharing it to. You’ve even got a record of it, in case there’s any question later on about what was communicated.

Cascade Messages for Real This Time

Maybe it’s a little overboard to share an entire Issue with another department or a vendor. They just need a basic update as a cascading message. If you’re like a lot of teams, you’re great at identifying cascading messages, but not so great at actually passing on the information.

Traction Tools software automatically prompts you to identify any cascading messages at the end of your Level 10 Meeting. A To-Do gets created, and now it’s in the system. That To-Do is right there on your Workspace all week to keep you accountable for cascading the message. 

Text It and Forget It

Want to send an update on the fly? Let’s say you’re on a teambuilding activity and you want to add something to the sales team’s Level 10 Meeting. You can text a People Headline in a snap: “Hey, leadership team wants to thank Sales for hitting your numbers and we’re gonna take you out for lunch next week.” Add a photo of the whole leadership team. You can even share it with the marketing department so they can use the photo on social media.

We recently got word that one of our former employees was ill. I thought it was important to cascade that out to everyone who knew this person. I was out of the office at the time, so I texted a People Headline and sent it to the leadership team’s Level 10 Meeting. It was a great way to be sure that I didn’t forget to keep our people in the loop.

Don’t like to text? Have Siri do it! She can add a People Headline to any department’s Level 10 Meeting for you.

Get Creative

Before we knew it, we were finding all kinds of ways to tear down walls between teams. It even helped our owners get more connected to the company. 

They were feeling removed from the life of the organization, detached and uninformed. So we created an owners’ meeting, and I pushed relevant Issues to that meeting. They now meet once a month and all the pertinent Issues and People Headlines are right there in their Level 10 Meeting Agenda. 

Now the owners are feeling more a part of the business than ever, and they get to celebrate milestones, anniversaries and births with the rest of the company.

When the Walls Come Tumblin’ Down

Traction Tools software for EOS has a unique ability to tear down silos, enhance communication and build unity across your organization. It takes advantage of the EOS Foundational Tools and in ways that paper-based systems can’t, giving your team the opportunity to be more effective. 

How will YOU use Traction Tools to break down the silos in your company?

See how Traction Tools can tear down the silos in your company. Get an on-demand demo now!

Kathy Mayfield

About the Author

Kathy is the Integrator at Traction® Tools and, quite frankly, one of the main reasons our company took flight. After joining forces with Certified EOS Implementer™ Todd Smart as his executive assistant in 2013, she helped catapult Smart Partners, Inc. into a thriving entrepreneurial company. By that time, Kathy’s love affair with EOS® was a done deal. A few years later when the saucy little startup Traction Tools appeared on the EOS scene, Kathy switched gears and focused her attention on making Traction Tools an operational success. Her work at Traction Tools has been described by our Visionary as “akin to transforming an airplane into a rocket ship—mid-flight.” She harnessed and directed our energy toward rapid growth. She’s done the same as the director of learning and a member of the Leadership Team of the Female Integrator Mastermind (FIM).