Silos (Part One)

In mid-March I attended a Say Yes to Education information session that explained its comprehensive, wrap-around support strategy to break down barriers to children’s academic success all the way to a post-secondary degree. Nadia Delvalle, the National Program Director, cited the fact that the various agencies necessary to realize this goal, had repeatedly attended planning meetings as discreet, isolated silos. Consequently, only stalemate resulted. Say Yes has devised a framework to change defensive posturing into active collaboration.

Her reference to silos, though negatively intended, brought to mind my own recent body of work. I used the silo/hopper form as a metaphor for energy conservation and transference: a container of potential. In a sense, we all operate in silos of me/myself/I. We have to. Unlike bees or the Borg, we can’t just lose ourselves in the hive mind. Understanding our uniqueness helps us each to achieve our potential. Organizational structures naturally form similarly. Without separation chaos threatens, entropy ensues, missions are lost. Yet, sharing resources and potential is critical to successful survival. In an apparent world in which organizations seem to be competing for ever-shrinking dollars how do we make those binary opposites: Silos - Collaborations, mingle and dance?

Executive Director

Laila Voss

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