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Strategic Dysfunctions

October 25, 2018

Over one of our administrator’s desk is a multicolored triangle. I recognized it immediately as the iconic image of the Five Dysfunctions, more specifically the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, shared in a book by Patrick Lencioni.


I had read the book, one in his original trilogy along with Death by Meeting and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive, so I went to the bookshelf and skimmed through it again. The concepts in the Five Dysfunctions are timeless – on point for anyone that has awesome responsibility of nurturing a highly functional team. I googled Lencioni to refresh my memory on one of the concepts, and up comes an ad for his new book – The Advantage, and of course I bought it. It contained a phrase that resonated with me and I included it in the slidedeck for a recent client strategic planning session:


Teamwork is not a virtue, but a choice, and a strategic one.”


Do organizations invest in actions to achieve strategies? Of course. Do organizations invest in continuing education, and professional development of its people?  Sadly, not so much. Teamwork takes work. It requires certain knowledge and skill. Investing in this skill development often requires organizations to prioritize budget dollars for managers and leaders.


I was encouraged when the hospital CMO at a recent planning retreat for the medical group was stumping for leadership development for the physicians, and I was delighted to see the CEO nodding his head in agreement.


To refresh your memory on the Five Dysfunctions, here’s the pyramid with some of my own annotations:



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