07 Aug ABW vs. Tribalism
Many of our clients want to break down the silos between different parts of their business: each unit or team huddling under its own little flag, rather than rallying under the banner of the wider organisational purpose.
But the tribalism that creates silos can also be one of the most powerful connections to our work: I’ll stay late to help a colleague I know, or put more energy into a team project, in a way I might not for an abstract corporate goal. So most businesses don’t want to remove tribalism, they want to refocus it – the way a country might need two neighbouring villages to stop squabbling over local fishing rights and come together to fight off a Viking invasion.
These very old ideas come to mind, as some of our clients are trialling or considering a rather new idea: Activity Based Working. How is the connection to the organisational tribe affected when people are untethered from their physical desks, neighbours are constantly reshuffled, and personal mementos like photos and awards are reduced or eliminated?
What’s clear is: if we’re disconnecting people from ‘their place’ in the office, we’ll need to find new ways to connect them to their colleagues and to their organisation’s purpose.