Monday, January 21, 2013

Who Ya NOT Gonna Call? Silobusters!

As I wrote here last week, I made a tactical boo-boo by signing up for January-term classes.

Still, rather than just engage in hand-wringing, I can try to have some fun with it, right?  On Thursday last week, the Prof, who had just left a position with the federal government, was explaining different ways of sharing information within organizations.  He introduced the idea of "stovepipes" or "silos," but then made a crack about how rich he'd be if he had a dollar for every time he heard someone describe himself as a "silobuster."

I was the only one who actually burst out laughing, which made for a slightly awkward moment -- he might not have even intended for it to be that funny.

But I was also the only one with 7+ years' experience working in and around bureaucracies.

And here's what I know:  Anyone who ever introduced himself or herself as a "silobuster" in an interview in which I was across the table would be certain to receive a "We received many qualified applications..." e-mail shortly afterwards.

And trust me, that's not because I like silos.  Obviously, information should be shared, not hoarded, and systems should be designed to ensure this occurs.  But someone calling himself or herself a "silobuster" is kind of like a girl that a single guy meets at a bar, and tells him five times within the first ten minutes that she "hates drama" and prefers things to be "drama-free."

Any guys out there think that girl would really live up to those bold opinions about drama?  Right.  And anyone who brags about "silobusting" has already told me as much as I need to hear.  


Dick said...

Funny, but to me, a "silobuster" is a very big, very accurate missile. I guess that just shows my age.

C R Krieger said...

My initial impression also, but I also got the silo reference within a bureaucracy.  Or stovepipes.  Silos can be real problems.  Here is an example of a bad silo issue.  This may be a distortion of history.  But the implications are clear.

"Silo-busters" with examples will work for me.  But a simple declaration is risible.

Regards  —  Cliff