Wednesday, August 24, 2011
THE FIVE DYSFUNCTIONS OF A TEAM
The following comes from "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni:
Here is the opening sentence in the introcution of the book: “Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”
Dysfunction 1: Absence of TrustIn the context of building a team, trust is in the confidence among team members that their peers’ intentions are good, and that there is no reason to be protective or careful around the group. In essence, teammates must get comfortable being vulnerable with one another.
Dysfunction 2: Fear of Conflict
All great relationships, the ones that last over time, require productive conflict in order to grow. This is true in marriage, parenthood, friendship and certainly businesses. It is important to distinguish productive ideological conflict from destructive fighting and interpersonal politics.
Dysfunction 3: Lack of Commitment
Great teams understand the danger of seeking consensus, and find ways to achieve buy-in even when complete agreement is impossible. They understand that reasonable human beings do not need to get their way in order to support a decision, but only need to know that their opinions have been heard and considered. Great teams ensure that everyone’s ideas are genuinely considered which then creates a willingness to rally around whatever decision is ultimately made by the group.
Dysfunction 4: Avoidance of Accountability
The essence of this dysfunction is the unwillingness of team members to tolerate the interpersonal discomfort that accompanies calling a peer on his or her behavior and the more general tendency to avoid difficult conversations. Members of great teams overcome these natural inclinations, opting instead to “enter the danger” with one another.
Dysfunction 5: Inattention to Results
The ultimate dysfunction of a team is the tendency of members to care about something other than the collective goals of the group. An unrelenting focus on specific objectives and clearly defined outcomes is a requirement for any team that judges itself on performance.