Last week I heard it again. A new business contact, at the end of a problem-solving session, said, “I never would have guessed I’d get the answers I needed from someone of your background, but now it seems obvious where you fit.” Ironically, I say things to that effect to others just as often as I hear them. Do they sound familiar in your own recent dealings?
If they don’t, you’re not getting out enough.
By that I mean, we’re in a time when organizational and categorical “silos” must come down. The reasons why at least two of those silos should come down are presented well in this post by Augie Ray of Milwaukee’s own Fullhouse Interactive. Augie’s post focuses on the divisions between finance and marketing. But there are many others, including, most notably, the walls separating marketing and technology.
The reason for much of this lack of communication and collaboration is conflicting priorities within the organization. And depending on the organization, one department’s priorities supersede the other’s.
The lion and the lamb shall lie down together… but the lamb won’t get much sleep.
— Woody Allen
Where does this power imbalance leave marketing, and specifically, CMOs? Augie’s post includes as an illustration this survey of CMOs. It is used as evidence that current business’s emphasis on short-term profits invariably favors finance:
Let’s call to the stand CMOs themselves to testify as to their place in the corporate world. The CMO Club recently polled its own members about who has the most credibility to the CEO. The results? Of the CMOs surveyed, 31% said the CFO, 24% said Head of Sales, and just 13.8% felt the CMO was most credible.
Placed as a family dynamic, the CEO (i.e., “the parent”) favors one sibling over another. Sorry, Marketing. You’re usually not that Golden Child.
Breaking down silos requires leadership from above. So the CEO has a key role in knocking heads and telling the kids to grow up and play nice.
But there is plenty of blame to go around. So what can you do to start removing a few bricks from the walls that hinder your future success? Do what our parents told us to do on the first day of kindergarten. Mingle. And treat others the way you’d like to be treated.
Un-networking is smart. It can also be fun. Case in point: likemind
I co-host Milwaukee’s likemind because I recognize that I need to get out and mingle. But I don’t want to do it in the echo chamber of yet another trade organization or rigid networking event (although each have their value).
Instead, I embraced the “un-networking” concept of likemind. Its diversity and lowered expectations suit me well. I also like drinking coffee, which is important.
If you are in the Milwaukee area, read about likemind, then come see for yourself at one of the monthly meeting. If you’re not, find something similar in your community. Then, talk to someone you’d never otherwise dream of approaching. You might be surprised with the results.