Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

The definitive must-read for everyone having anything to do with teams!

Author: Patrick Lencioni
Title: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Rating: highest recommendation!

Have you ever wondered why weekly team meetings become meaningless rituals without any results? Have you ever had the feeling that important topics were not discussed and severe conflicts not surfaced?

This book offers a very simple model of five dysfunctions of a team. The model explains typical anti-patterns of behavior you can recognize in many teams:

  1. Absence of Trust
  2. Fear of Conflict
  3. Lack of Commitment
  4. Avoidance of Accountability
  5. Inattention to Results
Some nice exercises to overcome these dysfunctions are described as well.

The first 90% of the book are written as a novel which is easy to read and understand but still highly exciting and insightful. The latter part of the book contains the pure description of the model and the exercises. But it's much more fun to read the novel and see how Kathryn--the main protagonist--is analyzing and guiding the team away from its old habits and dysfunctions.

In the real world you could use the model for team building events or retrospective meetings. Explain this simple model to your team and confront them with their habits. As simple as it is to understand, as hard is it to live it in a team. Just do it and give it a try!

I give this book the highest rating possible. Buy it, study it, apply it, share it with your peers!


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