Breaking down silos

If you’ve been effectively following the principles outlined so far in this series, then you’ll automatically be making progress in breaking down silos which exist. You can now bring this all together into thinking about the relationships you have across the organisation to improve communication and collaboration.

Understanding where your team fits in
In order to widen your professional network within the organisation, you need to think about the people you rely on and the people who rely on you. This creates a very simple workflow to use as a basis for building your internal professional network.

As you complete this diagram, you need to think about:

•    Who your team relies on
•    What your team does
•    Who relies on your team
•    Who the key stakeholders are on each side of the map

Once you understand this information, you can think about who would be the most suitable people to have in your internal network.

What is an internal network?
An internal professional network is a group of people who you have proactively developed a deeper relationship with in order to bring more value to the business through shared knowledge and collaboration. You become a network of people who bring mutual value to each other, and work to achieve a shared goal. It’s about:

•    Increasing shared knowledge in the organisation
•    Creating connections with people who can help you in your new role
•    Collaborating across silos with a focus on a common objective

As you look to develop your internal professional network, you should work through the following 3 steps:

1.    Know who you want in your network
2.    Recognise why others should want you in their network
3.    Craft a high-level message and initiating conversations

Then, take this information and ask yourself the following 4 questions:

1.    Why should that specific person want you in their network?
2.    What value would a closer working relationship with you bring them?
3.    What high-level message should you send to this person about you/your team?
4.    What would you talk about in your first catch-up?

You then need to approach that person and begin building your mutually-beneficial business relationship.


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