Breaking Down Silos, Building Agile Teams

Let’s work together to do our best work.

Breaking down silos is much more about leader behavior than employee behavior. When employees work in cross boundary teams with great agility, they become leaders in our organizations. As an executive leader, we know we are successful when everyone in our organization is leading. In this roundtable, Dr. Janet Pilcher shared tips to build cross-functional, agile teams to follow an iterative approach to getting things done without going through layers of review and approval.

In the roundtable and the discussion groups, Janet challenged leaders to think about student performance measures and learning regression. When thinking about this problem, Janet asked leaders to discuss:

  • Who would be part of a cross functional, collaborative team?

  • How would that break down silos?

  • What initial questions could that team ask to build curiosity around the problem?


Roundtable Resources


Busting Through Barriers | 9P

We often hear that people are an organization’s greatest assets, and it’s true. Our colleagues and employees have unlimited potential to solve problems, adapt to challenges and work collaboratively to achieve positive organizational results.

Read the article on 9P >> 

EP 78: Ask the Right Questions | AYP

As schools and organizations across the country prepare to re-open, it won’t be business as usual. Safety will be front and center. While learning remains a priority, the safety, health and well-being of students, teachers and staff will be just as important. So what will it take to successfully transition back into schools after COVID-19? In this episode, the Chief of Staff with Infrastructure Planning and Facilities at Michigan State University explains how asking the right questions to the right people has been an important key—not only in the university’s successful transition to virtual—but in getting ready for a very different fall semester.

Listen to the Episode >> 

Hear More from Janet on Breaking Down Silos


The Accelerate Your Performance podcast focuses on tactical actions to improve workplace culture. These tactics align to our Nine Principles® for Organizational Excellence. Listen weekly to hear stories of excellent organizations, ground-breaking leaders and the practices behind their success.

EP 145: 3 Changes to the Major Role of Leadership
Breaking down silos is much more about leader behavior than employee behavior. What skills do we need to cultivate now to lead our organizations into the future? In this episode, Janet challenges the solution of reorganizing the hierarchical structures within our organizations and recommends we focus on increasing agility to manage through consistent and continuous change. As leaders our most important job is to develop and coach employees to work across boundaries, transforming people into leaders.

Future Roundtable Sessions

Each week, our coaches lead a discussion with a community of leaders who are facing similar challenges. These 60-minute sessions are free and allow opportunities to learn from expert leadership coaches and have candid conversations with other leaders about barriers, share successful practices and re-center on what works.


Toolkits are developed by our experts to guide leaders with a framework for complex solutions. View and download our interactive toolkits on communicating using the Execution Triangle, execution and improvement, crisis communication and more.

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