The Five Disfunctions of a Team

I was recently asked to take over a project that had begun to flounder. After about a week, I was able to piece together a list of problems; causes for the lack of progress.

Not surprisingly, the top three issues appear on the list documented in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. The book was written as a fable, which makes it fun for people that like a good story and irritating to people that just want a list. If you are one to like a story, I suggest you get a copy of the book. It is an interesting read. And, if you are a just-the-facts type of person, there is the list taken from

  1. Absence of trust: stemming from an unwillingness in the team members to be vulnerable and genuinely open up with one another about their mistakes and weaknesses.
  2. Fear of conflict: inability to engage in unfiltered, passionate (yet constructive, though it may strike you as odd) debate.
  3. Lack of commitment: no buy in and commitment can be expected when ideas and opinions have not been aired and genuinely taken into consideration prior to a decision.
  4. Avoidance of accountability: without commitment to a clearly defined set of goals, team members will hesitate to call their colleagues on their actions and behaviors that are counterproductive for the team.
  5. Inattention to results: Lencioni brings it all home through the realization that avoidance of accountability leads to a state where team members tend to put their individual needs above the team's collective goals.

See you next timeā€¦