Patrick Lencioni – The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Why did I choose to read the book?

As it’s one of the more popular business novels (my favourite genre) this one was just a matter of time.

What is it about?

This business novel (or business fable, as the author calls it), tells the story of Kathryn, a senior manager coming out of retirement to turn around a hightech silicon valley company. She does this, by making the executive team understand the need for better teamwork and to work together, not against each other, via explaining and counteracting the eponymous five dysfunctions of teams, which are:

Absence of trust — unwilling to be vulnerable within the group
Fear of conflict — seeking artificial harmony over constructive passionate debate
Lack of commitment — feigning buy-in for group decisions creates ambiguity throughout the organization
Avoidance of accountability — ducking the responsibility to call peers on counterproductive behavior which sets low standards
Inattention to results — focusing on personal success, status and ego before team success

How did I like the book?

Loved it. The story was well written and the dysfunctions are well explained. Especially the fundamentally different characters and the protagonist’s way to solve the executive teams problems are well realized. I can already imagine the benefits of implementing the books ideas and see them ringing true for a lot of organizations and teams I have had experiences with. Overall, I will most certainly read Lencioni’s other books, which are mostly business fables (novels) covering different topics, as this one was such a joy to read. Highly recommended.