From Fast Company. This is what Jeff Taylor, founder and chairman, Monster.com says:
We all need to go into the corn-storage business. By that, I mean developing “silo expertise” in emerging business areas — such as health care, government, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals — that haven’t gotten much attention in the past five years. Those are the places where money is still being spent.
We’re using that approach at Monster. For example, 71% of federal-government workers will be eligible to retire over the next eight years. My conclusion: I have to figure out how to do business with the U.S. government. So I put employees in a number of different departments who wear a government-solutions name badge. They represent a silo of expertise that’s going to help me win that business.
Call them “silos” or “niches,” “business units,” “communities,” or “channels.” I like “silo” because it represents a harvest. The market-place in 2003 is more specialized, competitive, and focused. If you want to harvest revenue, then you’ll have to get into the silo business. You’ll have to build 20 of them, each with a different expertise. Then, depending on the size of your business, you could make $5 million or $300 million in one of those silos and substantially increase your revenue productivity.
What does this mean for each of us? We can’t be generalists anymore. If you want to have a chance, you need to be a specialist. Be bold about your industry or niche expertise. If you’ve been in pharmaceutical sales, trumpet your expertise in the industry, not just your sales skills. You need to become a silo yourself.