Breaking the Silos at EPAM

employee experience

“I Don't Need to Know Everything Because I Have This Network That I Can Tap into to Bring to Market with Me”

Silo Busting 35: How Lynn Rivenburgh Busts EPAM’s Silos

March 7, 2022
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Every organization has silos—even ours. But EPAM’s culture is unique in that it allows, even encourages, individuals to disregard silos, take initiative, and connect deeply with others. Lynn Rivenburgh, a VP of Business Consulting at EPAM, is a superb practitioner of silo busting, and in this episode of Silo Busting, she talks producer Ken Gordon through her process.

While interviewing for her job, Rivenburgh, who was hired in June 2021, asked her interlocutors with whom she should connect, and after collecting some relevant names: “I did reach out to people on LinkedIn [and] they were super receptive.” Since then, she has set up monthly meetings with a number of organizational leaders.

Listen and learn about her work with the Women’s Circle, a self-regulated, cross-functional EPAM community: “It's different people all over the organization, at different levels, and [colleagues] not within my practice necessarily, which has been great.” Rivenburgh has enjoyed Circle life—her Circle is one of eight—because it opens a window into “other parts of the org and how they operate.” The Circle clearly provides much psychological safety (“Whatever is said in the group stays in the group; it’s confidential,” says says) and builds a terrific amount of trust. Her group includes a man, who happens to be the person to whom she reports.

Mentoring junior practitioners is a big theme for Rivenburgh. “I think it's not just it's not just the most important thing I do on a daily basis, but I think it's the most rewarding as well,” she says, adding: “My job is to find my successor so I can elevate myself personally within my career.”

Listen to Rivenburgh talk about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work or her—and her six-year-old daughter’s involvement—in the EPAM eKids program (“They're reaching out to millions and millions of kids across the globe; the breadth and depth of what they've done from programming language is absolutely incredible“), and you’ll be inspired.

In terms of advice for listeners and colleagues: Rivenburgh suggests they willingly banish themselves from the comfort zone and learn to become better networkers and listeners.

She concludes with some words about how all her internal networked applies to the outside world as well. She’s insurance expert, she says, but “I'm not a cloud expert, not necessarily a data analytics and predictive modeling expert.” But because she has a great internal network, “I'm able to bring those resources to the table with me to have those conversations with clients.”

Host: Alison Kotin
Engineer: Kyp Pilalas
Producer: Ken Gordon

Silo Busting 35: How Lynn Rivenburgh Breaks EPAM’s Silos
filed in: employee experience, complex systems, education