Meet HR GIG 7 Speaker Joshua Zammit.

Our next speaker is Mr. Joshua Zammit, a consultant and founder of Novargo Ltd with over 25 years of management experience in both private and public sectors.

Posted on: Sunday, June 5th, 2022

A dual-graduate of the University of Hull and the University of Malta, Mr. Zammit received management training at Cranfield School of Management and has held a number of C-suite and Board level roles together with a variety of advisory roles both within the private sector and the Government of Malta.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am trained as an organisational psychologist, but although I use psychology in my work almost constantly, I’ve never professionally practised as a psychologist. I started my career 25 years ago in consulting, after a few years of that, made a change into executive management roles and have worked in a variety of roles for both local organisations as well as for large international companies.

I started Novargo in 2011 and moved full-time into it in 2019 when I decided I wanted to move away from what I was doing and reorient my life and my career. So after six years as CEO of two large organisations in Malta I made the switch and became a consultant once again. You can say that in some way my career went full-circle with this move.

Today, I enjoy doing what I am doing very much: working with some really great companies and people, teaching, and getting involved in a variety of projects. Together with two friends of mine, we have been organising the Malta Aviation Conference & Expo for the past four years and I am also helping launch an educational institution later on this year. There are a couple of other projects in the pipeline which I am very excited about, so look out for those!

On a more personal note, I enjoy reading, am curious about almost everything and I’ve recently decided to go back to school and registered for a Ph.D in Management.

What is the work culture at Novargo?

Novargo is about simplifying a very complex world and supporting people and organisations to achieve what they never thought was possible. I created Novargo as a small boutique consultancy firm and although there are only two of us employed with the Company there is an amazing network of people with whom we collaborate to deliver larger and more demanding projects. I’ve found this to be a highly effective model which provides immediate scalability and total flexibility depending on the project at hand. From the client side it is also ideal because clients only pay for what they need without having unnecessary costs passed on to them.

What are the most common organisational silos you tend to come across?

Silos can bring some benefits to organisations but their disadvantages far outweigh their benefits. They are a multi-faceted challenge which organisations need to face and one of the most important things to fight silos is the structure which the organisation adopts. Besides that, there are other things which we look into such as the culture of the organisation, the compensation system and the mindset of the management. One interesting aspect is the neuropsychology of silos, but maybe we can discuss this in some more detail during HR GIG 7!

Communication is key and it is amazing that this most basic of human qualities, which we all take for granted, can be such a challenge for some organisations to get right.

Senior management has a duty to facilitate communication within the company, whether that’s of their own ideas, the company goals, or new KPIs. Unfortunately, we often find that silos originate at this level and although this may not necessarily happen because of the individuals within the senior management team, this group has the power within the Company to break down silos. I am a very firm believer in the adage that there are no bad employees only bad management and following from this when things are not going as expected we should not look at the employees in the organisation but at the management

Could you tell us a little bit about HR GIG 7? 

This is my first HR GIG but I have heard very good things about StreetHR and their excellent reputation for hosting this event which sheds light on a number of issues that organisations should consider. I enjoy contributing to events that can make a difference and when Joseph reached out, I was happy to collaborate.

Do silos differ from country to country?

Every country has its own culture and subcultures which influence every aspect of life in that country. This means that the way they do business, structure and manage their organisations is influenced by their culture.

When it comes to silos, we talk about silos and silo mentality. What it means is that there is a lack of sharing of information between people. You’ve got a group of people who have decided to keep the information for themselves – and that’s something you find in every country.

Where do these silos come from? As I said before, research shows us that silos tend to originate with senior managers and this mentality can then evolve to become fixed within the company culture, making it that much harder to shift. In reality, most silos occur because people become hyper focused on their goals, and they narrow their mindset to just what they want to achieve, failing to see the bigger picture of the organisation. This tunnel vision becomes difficult to shift – we still find examples nowadays of companies with silo mentalities that won’t change the way they work because that’s been their style for so long. However, keep in mind that silos have benefits too, hence people may look only at this aspect to justify their behaviour while ignoring the more damaging aspect of the silo culture.

How can CEOs foster a better environment for communication and trust?

When you have silos in your organisation, overcoming it needs a change in structure, a change in the way you think, and a change in the way you communicate. You need a strong vision and a purpose for the organisation that can take the place of that silo mentality, and you need to create a reason for the people in your organisation to unify and work together.

When people start working together, then you can break down the silos.

To do that, you need to build very strong teams and you need to have processes which will support those teams and facilitate communication. You also need systems: for rewards, to manage performance, for development, for sharing of information – but it all starts with a change in behaviour.

What are the benefits of attending HR GIG?

A lot of excellent people from different industries will attend for networking, making HR GIG a great forum to crowdsource a variety of opinions and solutions.