The traditional engineering and manufacturing sector has largely been task driven. What do we mean by that? You have a job title and a job role, which involves doing a certain selection of activities or tasks. Things like generating a CAD model or preparing all the manufacturing drawings are a couple of examples. You clock-in in the morning, do your tasks, take your breaks, clock-out in the evening and go home.
With this kind of task driven approach, all you are doing is what you’re instructed to do as part of fulfilling the requirements that justify your existence in the company. No more, no less. You are oblivious to the bigger picture and your field of activity or contribution to the company’s cause is limited by the instructions.
You are told you are fine as long as you do as you are told and do not think too much. Things that are not part of your tasks to do are not your problem. They are someone else’s to deal with. Now imagine this culture being drilled over the decades, with a rapidly and dynamically changing world out there. There comes a point when you find it normal to say things like ‘that is not my job’. How often do you hear this statement from different people?
What happens eventually is, instead of being able to a collaborative working culture where you share success and failure as an organisation, you silo yourselves into departments and build walls around your desks. These silos come with glass ceilings, by the way. No one benefits, not you, not your line manager, not their bosses, not the company. But, everyone is doing what they’re told, right? So, where is the problem and what is the solution?