Sunday, 6 October 2019

#18/2019 The Five Dysfunctions of a Team


In this business book, consultant and speaker Patrick Lencioni, puts forward a model that aims to identify 5 key dysfunctions of a team that doesn't perform well (or 5 elements that work well in a good team if you look at it from another perspective.

He brings them up in astory of Kathryn Petersen, newly appointed CEO of fictional company. She is portrayed as a perfect boss who always does the right thing. While it might seem a tad naive, the author smoothly uses this background to put his ideas into tangible context. Situations that Kate faces are not extraordinary, and she is always able to use the right too(s) to solve conflicts and plan ahead. These allow Lenconi to really drive his point and present more argument for using the model he proposes. While this approach might be perceived as 'touchy-feely', I'd say its relative simplicity makes it a tool that is more easily applicable.

The five dysfunctions are:

1. Absence of trust - the fear o being vulnerable in front of the team limits opportunities of building trust.
2. Fear of conflict - maintaining status quo for the sake of artificial harmony can be destructive as it makes productive discussion very challenging.
3. Lack of commitment - if the goals aren't clearly defined and not everyone is able to participate in the process, making decisions becomes too complicated.
4. Avoidance of accountability - if teams are determined to avoid interpersonal discomfort, and fear making one another uncomfortable, small issues fester and become much more problematic with limited chances of fixing them.
5. Inattention to results - focusing on personal goals does not go in line with collective ones and more often than not one will need to shift their priorities to accommodate group goals.

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