Sunday 3 March 2013

10. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

This book relates a fictional work life scenario to build its theory on managing and creating an effective team, but how effective can a fictional setting reflect the complex business world we live in? Let's begin by a brief overview of the Five Dysfunctions and then examine the books impact on real life.

The 5 dysfunctions are:
1. Absence of Trust.
2. Fear of Conflict
3. Lack of Commitment
4. Avoidance of Accountability
5. Inattention to Results

According to Lencioni, all of the dysfunctions are inter-related with each one leading into the next beginning with an Absence of Trust facilitating Fear of Conflict and without having openness to conflict there is a Lack of Commitment. The key to identifying the level of success in each category is a keen eyed leader with plenty of experience creating solid teams. In reality, this is where the book fails in my opinion.

Considering the book from actual work-life scenarios the book pales in comparison. The story used simplifies the complex relationships and interpersonal conflict in any organizations. In short, the story soul purpose is to exemplify how overcoming each dysfunction strengthens a team rather than how to overcome the extreme challenges from team members in creating a functioning team. The characters in the story seem to understand the concepts to quickly and commit too readily to initiatives made in each of the five dysfunctions outlined.

Additionally, the leader and main character has unprecedented acuity in assessing the motivation of each team member. Throughout the book she conducts internal monologues where her expertese in identifying critical team building moments is displayed. At these points I never once felt impressed with her ability. Instead, I felt as though there a disconnect with how she arrived her decision. My most common thought was that her experience and expertise developed over the years enabled her to have such insight. Therefore, I needed a sense of suspended disbelief in her ability to get on board with the value she created in her use of each disfunction.

In the end, the book offered a set of disfunctions which related to buidling an effective and effiecient team. The level to which uzilizing this book depends soul on a person experience with the techniques and their personal ability to understand the motivations of their staff. It was an entertaining read which could be done over a weekend, but there are other books I would recommend over this one.