Breaking Down the Silos
KEENE, TEX. – In the business world there is a common word that makes organizations cringe. It is the word “silo.” What image comes to mind when you hear the word silo? The image that comes to my mind is of an organization whose various departments and teams do not work together, which increases operational costs and sabotages efficiency. On the subject of the silo mentality, Patrick Lencioni states, “Silos—and the turf wars they enable—devastate organizations. They waste resources, kill productivity and jeopardize the achievement of goals.” How true.
In Adventist education, our students, our customers, expect their school to meet their needs in a seamless and effective way. They expect a fulfilling experience as they connect with and interact with our brand. For us to deliver the knowledge, faith and service they seek, our internal teams must work together while still playing our unique roles to give our students their desired experience. But we should not stop there. We also need to collaborate with our external teams—local churches, the Texas Conference and the Southwestern Union—so, as our young people follow their life’s journey, it continues to point to God’s plan for their life. God’s desire, our desire and the desire of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is to see young people fulfilling God’s purpose for them. It truly does take collaboration for that to happen—the home, the church and the school need to work in “silo-less” fashion to achieve this purpose.
Paul mentions the antidote to this silo mentality as unity in 1 Corinthians 12:12, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body.” In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes similar advice, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5. We certainly do not all have the same function, but we need to ask the Lord to show us the part He has called us to play in His plan. He has given each one of us a special task. We need to understand and accept the role God is calling us to play and how we may collaborate with others to fulfill His will.
We recently experienced an excellent example of collaboration. As the 2021-2022 school year came to a close, our students had the privilege of being sent off into their professional stage of life, not only by Southwestern Adventist University, but also by our partners and event sponsors in ministry: Texas Conference Young Adult Director Justin Yang, Southwestern Union Young Adult and Youth Director Helvis Moody and pastors Michael Gibson from Elevate at the Keene Seventh-day Adventist Church and Allan Martin/Oddie Olazaran from Younger Generation Church at the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church. Just imagine what else we could accomplish if we all worked in a “silo-less” community!
By Tony Reyes
VP for University Advancement
Photo by Justin Yang