The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni

FiveDysfunctionsPatrick Lencioni’s  approach based on the Five Dysfunctions of a Team  has been instrumental for me in creating structurally different team dynamics.

Lencioni developed a very simple concept of how to build very effective teams based on his five layer pyramid. Initially I found Lencioni’s pyramid model quite simplistic, as is his story telling style used in the book.

I started  experimenting with his concepts a couple of years ago,  discovering that the power of the method is exactly it’s simplicity and easy comprehension.

five-dysfunctions-pyramidSince then I totally adhere to Lencioni’s basic idea that teams are more result oriented if team members make each other accountable. Team members accept to be accountable if they are committed to the plan because they were able to  co-created it. Real co-creation happens when there is true engagement which can only happen if there is a method to manage constructive conflict . In turn,  constructive conflict can only happen if the team is rests on a strong layer of Trust.

We found indeed that building our whole High Performance Team approach on the Trust layer turned out to be the most important and most disruptive element to implement. This “Trust” is not defined by our level of being buddies, that have done a lot of teambuilding activities together (we like to do that too ;-)). No, it is a Trust level where all staff members are totally OK to put themselves up vulnerably so that their close colleagues can “look through” the typical façade of how they are perceived and go into a collaboration mode that is focussed on content and fully leverages complementary.

Lencioni has also laid the basis for us to start using Insights Disk, a next generation MBTI using simple color system (Yellow, Red, Green, Blue) which is totally in the spirit of accelerating that “vulnerability” process (will be a subject of another posting).

I’d love to hear from you if you believe that true Trust can be achieved in a work environment and what you experienced as your best tips and trics have been.

Practical :

See the recap video of Patrick Lencioni – may be a bit too “Americana” but a good summary :

I have also put here some of my notes on the book : The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – some notes

A link to Slideshare on the book :

Finally, there is a small Team Survey (and excel) that you can use

Finally, Lencioni has written a whole set of other books which focus on a wide range of topics. I have glanced through them and must say that I found them much less impacting as this book.


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