Danger in Isolation

Published: Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Some call it JOB SECURITY.  Others call protecting intellectual property.  Many want to just have the end result perfect before sharing out.  There is danger in these ideas and thoughts as they lead to isolationist principles. 

When we break down isolation in the workplace, many times this is due to self-serving / self-preserving attitudes.  Individuals see benefits to this as it provides a perception of worth and security that sometimes is lacking in their jobs.  I personally remember thinking it was awesome that I had the “keys” to the source and that only I could make changes.  Thankfully, I learned a lesson about being expendable.  To that point, workplaces are really starting to frown upon these attitudes because they:

  • Stifle Innovation
  • Cause mistrust from peers and management
  • Create misaligned or stove piped processes or tools
  • Don’t allow people to have a greater breadth of knowledge and limit single points of failure

Here are some ways that we can fight the isolationist traits:

  • Transparency - The more we share out our work, the more others will be aware of how to contribute, which leads to greater value.
  • Influence without ownership - When the O word comes into the vocabulary, be wary.
  • Setup cross group dependencies to get work done and rely on your teammates for contribution

Do you see isolationist traits in the workplace? How do you personally combat them?