Lately I've been thinking a lot about gears. You know, the idea that the gear teeth and rotation must be aligned for the mechanism to work properly. If a tooth breaks it throws the whole thing off. Or if a gear is trying to move the opposite direction the mechanism doesn't move at all. Thus the importance of systems.
Each system within an organization needs to be in place and aligned in order to support the other systems in the organization. If pieces of the organization act as silos the integration is lost and the system as a whole will come to a stop.
Think of it as systems within a system.
From a school district perspective the district is the overall system. Within the larger system there are buildings that operate as systems. We also have the business office, human resources, transportation, technology, etc. as smaller systems. At the school building level we see grade level and departments as systems, as well as the individual classroom system.
In order to have a high functioning/performing district these systems need to be aligned and working together. Technology has to support the classroom, elementary curriculum needs to flow into middle school curriculum, and so on.
Sometimes the gears are spinning nicely, but they are close enough together to enhance one another. That is especially true in a silo-laden organization.
As leaders in an organization we must ensure that the gears are aligned, get the proper lubrication, and are moving in an efficient and effective manner to move the organization forward.