Avoiding the five dysfunctions of a losing team and supporting the four distinctions in your teams
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team
Not too long ago, the whole team at OpenView was brought into acquaintance with the concept of the five dysfunctions of a team via the book of the very same name authored by Patrick Lencioni. We discussed the ideas in depth, and also spent time undergoing an thorough training session with team building consultants to help us identify signs of these dysfunctions within our team and handle them. While team building is undoubtedly often a work in progress for all management teams, this one session was a key to helping us jump forward in our ability to work together. So what are the five dysfunctions? They are:
- Lack of Trust - Lack of Open Communication - Lack of Commitment - Lack of Accountability - Lack of Focus/Aspirations to Results
These are self explanatory, but the key idea is that they build upon each other, from Lack of Trust to Lack of Results. A team needs to concentrate on developing mutual trust so that everybody is confident they are in the very same boat and have absolutely nothing to hold back from each other. This establishes the foundation for open communication, the flourishing of straight talk, constructive criticism and wholesome debate among team members. This is essential for a team’s steady betterment and lets everybody to give their two cents’ worth. With the ability to share their opinions, team members are more willing to commit to the team’s goals and action plan, even if they disagree with some parts of it, since it is the team’s consensus that drives these decisions. With dedication on the table, it is then feasible to ensure accountability in each team member’s performance, so in the end, the achievement of the goal is really just dependent on the team member’s capability and determination, which then plays a part in the entire team’s ultimate results.
The Four Distinctions
However, in due course, we discover that while the team’s optimistic dynamism attained through this method is incredibly effective, it can be made better in various orthogonal aspects, which I shall humbly call the 4 distinctions of a stellar team. They are:
- Innate Flexibility: This is the trait found in teams using agile development methods. They are designed in such a way that maximizes the team’s ability to act on changing project requirements and capacity, by means of encouraging the team to self-organize and optimize for every single new challenge or project
- Out of the box element: The most effective team embraces and fosters thinking out of the box. Their quick-thinking structure, as mentioned, allows them to be flexible enough to accept ground breaking, potential paradigm shifts, while their commitment keeps them focused on their goals.
- Discipline: This is nearly a “must-have” in order to possess flexibility, at the same time, it is important enough to merit singular mention. Discipline here does not refer to the strict observance of hierarchical structure, which is the direct opposite of flexibility and open communication, rather, it is the discipline to comply with the methodology previously decided upon, the working rhythm and the team’s chosen organizational setup. Managers are often tempted to abuse their authority in little ways to get their pet things accomplished, and subordinates are also typically tempted to use shortcuts to save time and efforts. All of these are infringements of discipline, and causes teams to function like a sputtering steam locomotive – progressing in jerks and stops.
- Inspiration: This is discussed last but it is really the most essential. Shooting for a lofty goal will aid in gelling the team together, as well as urge them to uncover all of the principles mentioned above, and encourage them to do their best to work well together. I do not have to say more – but needless to say, it is easy to get motivated, but very hard to bring encouragement to our team. Thus, developing and effectively communicating your encouragement for the team is an essential organizational management strategy for all managers, whether they are building a sales team, solidifying a development team, or encouraging the marketing team to work together.
Tien Anh Nguyen is an Associate at OpenView Venture Partners, responsible for delivering strategic value-add services to the portfolio companies as part of the OpenView Labs team.
- The Increasing Rivalry Between Google and Facebook (understandingecommerce.com)
- Senior Managers Need to Look in the Mirror (understandingecommerce.com)
- Why You Need Industry Knowledge To Power Your Sales (dohertyassoc.com)
There are no comments yet.