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To tear down silos, groups must make teamwork a priority (and coffee helps)

Cross-department collaboration should be embedded in an association’s very DNA

Jan. 19, 2020
By Walt Williams

The American College of Radiology is a large organization with nearly 500 staff divided between offices in multiple cities, so getting employees to intermingle and exchange ideas poses a big challenge. The group’s solution? Coffee.

Three years ago ACR launched a program called Coffee Chats to help break down silos between the different departments and offices in the organization. Twice a year, employees are paired with other staff through a selection process that ensures that people who regularly do not interact are brought together to introduce themselves and talk about what they do. Provided with coffee shop gift cards, an hour of free time, and—if needed—video conferencing tools, participants are encouraged to meet, drink coffee and shoot the breeze.