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The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers

Dylan Schleicher

September 02, 2015

Gillian Tett shows how our tendency to create silos hinders our work, and how some people and organizations can break those silos down.

Gillian Tett, the U.S. managing editor and columnist at the Financial Times, follows up her previous acclaimed books Saving the Sun and Fool's Gold with The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers.

The Silo Effect articulates a revelatory new understanding of the workplace. Tett shows how our tendency to create silos hinders our work, and how some people and organizations can break those silos down. The book is structured around eight case studies:


  • Mayor Mike Bloomberg's City Hall in New York
  • Facebook in San Francisco
  • The Chicago Police Department
  • Cleveland Clinic Hospital in Ohio
  • BlueMountain Capital
  • The Bank of England in London
  • UBS Bank in Switzerland
  • Sony in Tokyo

Tett embedded herself at many of these organizations, and her training in anthropology (she has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Cambridge and did field work in Tibet and Tajikistan) brings rigor to her analysis. Some of these narratives illustrate how stupidly people can behave when they are mastered by silos. Others show how institutions and individuals can master their silos instead. There are stories of failure and success.

Tett's case studies offer practical wisdom as well, from how to organize office spaces to how to lead teams of people with disparate expertise. The Silo Effect will give readers useful ideas for how to rethink their organization as well as their work within it.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gillian Tett is the US managing editor and columnist at the Financial Times, the world's leading newspaper covering finance and business. In 2014 she was named Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards, and was previously named Journalist of the Year (2009), Business Journalist of the Year (2008) and Wincott Financial Journalist of the Year (2007). In 2011 she was awarded the British Academy's Presidents' Medal. Tett is the author of Saving the Sun and Fool's Gold.

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