“A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand”

house divided, department vs department

“A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand”

house divided, department vs department

We have all heard the saying – “A house divided against itself cannot stand” by Abraham Lincoln. While originally spoken in regards to a divided United States, it still holds true in non-political matters.

Today, these words can be used in many organizations. People may refer to it as “us vs. them” mentality. Who are the “us” and who are the “them”? Well there are many possibilities, here are a few:

  • managers vs. employees
  • department vs. department
  • owner vs. employee

The department vs. department can be numerous. I would see production/operations vs. sales or customer service vs. sales or accounting vs. HR, etc. This inner conflict can be difficult for an organization ~ it can take up time, energy, resources and people. People will leave companies if they don’t feel appreciated. Most importantly, if people are more concerned with how another department will treat them, how much attention are they giving to the customer/client. Is it showing up in some way to the customer/client? Will it affect your reputation in the marketplace.

The inner conflict needs to stop and just by willing so won’t make it happen. It needs to be concerted effort that is consistent.


Determine why it’s happening. Most department rely on each other to get work, process work, accomplish a goal – do they understand this? Or is their some old grudge that is being harbored by a few individuals?

Really dig down to why it’s happening. Don’t settle with Sales over promises and we can’t deliver. Go further. In quality control this is a “root cause analysis”. Keep asking, is there something more. Only once you understand why it’s really happening can you turn it around. Otherwise it is just a band-aid.

Create a plan. No big announcement is needed. Is it educating each department on what the other does? Is it social outings so they can see the other department is human? Is it cross-training? Use your imagination – there are no written rules to follow. Keep in mind your objective.

Need assistance putting your team together? Let’s talk.