read this week

silos.jpgsilos, politics and turf wars: a leadership fable about destroying the barriers that turn colleagues into competitors, by patrick lencioni.

i’ve only read one of lencioni’s books prior to this one (the five dysfunctions of a team); but i loved them both. writing “points” as fiction is a risky proposition. brian mclaren did it well. the authors of ‘who moved my cheese’ did it horribly. lencioni is a master of this. the approach is engaging, and acts as a wonderful case study for everything he’s trying to say in the book.

the basic gist of the book is to look at how to overcome the distructive tendancy in so many organizations to experience in-fighting and competition between departments, staff levels, committees, and other sub-groups. btw, one of his examples in the fable is a church. we had a terrible amount of this siloing at ys a few years back, but it seems to be mostly gone now, as a result of the last 2 1/2 years of trauma (yac’s death) and re-configuring we’ve pursued. i could see our story validating lencioni’s points.

but there was great value in the book for me beyond the idea of getting beyond turf wars. he unpacks a concept (and model) for organizations to have a “theme goal” — a short-term (3 – 18 mos) qualitative focus that becomes a rallying cry, and something for everyone in the organization to get behind. it’s a good process for moving past working only on the day-to-day stuff (which still needs to get done), and always keeping a broader change goal in mind. i plan on using some of the stuff from this book on an exec team day away for ys in a month.

2 thoughts on “read this week”

  1. I’ve read many others of his books, and I highly recommend them. Not all his stuff can transfer directly to church leadership, but most of it can, and with very little tweaking. I think my favorite, though, was “Five Dysfunctions.”

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