How can the IKEA effect defeat a powerful silo? Will the Empire strike back?

Organisational silos are a human construction of self-serving empire-builders.


We’ve all seen them. It’s agendas and game-playing. The tragic consequence is a broken customer experience, some process duplication, and you’ll forever hear “them and us” rather than “we together”.


Well, the good news is, we already know 70% of what people learn is by doing. And, researchers have known about the IKEA effect for a long time. When people have a role in assembling something (like furniture), they cognitively place a disproportionately higher value on their work.


So, if people learn by doing and value hands-on involvement, here’s an unoriginal plan to building silo bridges:


  1. Bring together a multi-disciplinary team from across silos

  2. give them a meaningful challenge to solve and

  3. give them a bunch of Allen keys to build something.


Sounds great right? Not quite.


If silos persist, you’ve got highly dysfunctional horizontal leadership.


You want the right people working together on the right things in the right way.


A cross-functional team, tho’ well intended to diminish the Empire’s influence, will be tantamount to putting lipstick on a pig.


Perhaps you need to change the pig? 🐷

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