(This is the fourth installment on strategic organizational integration. See the first post here.)

To recap the previous posts, I have discussed the deadening impact of departmental silos on an organizations growth. I created phrases to help you remember the principles we have covered to this point. Remember, if you want to grow, say no to the silo. I also covered the affect of collaboration and integration on Next-Gen employee retention and productivity. The phrase being: When loyalty and productivity are KEY, the bigger picture is WE.

Now I am going to answer the question many have asked, “How do we get there?” What does it look like to integrate not just departments but, digital disciplines across an organization?

Organizational Change Takes Courage and Commitment

It takes bold steps to create the level of change that will be needed. As Seth Godin said:

“The best time to change your business model [or organizational model] is while you still have momentum.”  – from Tribes

Seth has a term I love – “Sheepwalkers”. He goes onto describe these types of organizations as ones that hire people to be obedient and to do brain-dead jobs with enough fear and intimidation to keep them in line. Sad. The truth is, when you hire amazing and collaborative people they do amazing things. Unfortunately, when you are trying to change an organization you will run into “sheepwalkers”. You can always tell who the “sheepwalkers” are, they are the ones shaking their heads saying change is not good and will never last because it’s way too risky. You may have to remove the sheepwalkers.

Andy Stanley is an author, prominent speaker, and the leader of North Point Ministries. Before North Point Ministries, Andy led the efforts of a  satellite campus in north Atlanta, Georgia. This campus was a branch of the church led by his father downtown. I attended the north campus when Andy announced he was leaving – with no job lined up and no staff. He only had a vision for a new way to “do church”. You can read more about this story in the book, Deep & Wide. Today, many of you may have heard of North Point Community Church. They have been so successful they started North Point Ministries to export content they have created and share what they are learning through their annual Drive conference.

Was Andy a “sheepwalker”? No. Was Andy fearful? Sure he was but he was also willing to follow the vision planted in his heart over 17 years ago. I have had the privilege to be amongst the founding members and seen the incredible work they are doing, not only in Atlanta but, around the globe because Andy was willing to be courageous, commit, and step out.

Don’t give in to the F Word – Fear.

What are you afraid of? Being wrong?! Seth Godin says, “The secret is realizing that wrong isn’t fatal.”

We need business leaders that are willing to create a culture of integration and collaboration.

It won’t happen over night but to leverage your employees, technology, and processes and to maximize the organizations we work for, we have to row in the same direction without fear. We have to optimize all our channels. It’s not about what media, department, or leader is best — its about getting the vision, message, and product out to people!

In the next and final post, I’ll share steps for creating an integrated robust digital culture.