Monday, December 28, 2015

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a modestly interesting management book on how to better structure interpersonal realtionships between company leaders. Presumably the lessons here could be applied to any working group, but they seem particularly focused on top level executives. There are a lot of feelings here and the book is pretty focused on the way people interact with one another rather than establishing core competencies, thinking about how to load balance effort, strategies for establishing dominance in a market, dealing with competitors, etc. Basically, if you’re interested in thinking about how some group of senior level people at your company might not be getting along well, this book might be interesting for you.

The most interesting element here is the way he tells the tale, by using a fictional Silicon Valley company and showing us the interactions of their leadership group throughout a few meetings. Sound dull? Well… It is. But it is still far, far more interesting than the epilogue, in which we move from the parable format to a more direct checklist. Here’s the list of the Five Dysfunctions:

Absence of Trust
Fear of Conflict
Lack of Commitment
Avoidance of Accountability
Inattention to Results

Now as a framework for thinking about your team or studio or company this is a pretty decent place to start. And that does make this book useful if you’re the kind of person who has ever stood in front of a whiteboard and tried to get others to think about how your organization could improve. If barbarians with axes, or gumshoes, or cumshots, or vampires, or futurism, or whooshing spaceships, or martial arts, or geopolicitcs are your thing instead.. Pass.

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