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5 Dysfunctions of a Team

DecisionTech
Promising start-up in Silicon Valley
Experienced and expensive exec team
Indestructible business plan
Top-tier investors
Venture firms want to invest, engineers want to work
Then
Decrease in morale
Turnover
Under Jeff
Backstabbing
Reputation for being political and unpleasant place to work
Criticisms of Kathryn
Old
No high tech experience--experience in auto manufacturer
Old school, blue collarish executive--bad culture fit
Kathryn and Chairmans relationship based on family--selected because she had a great
gift for building teams
First couple weeks--just observed, announced exec retreats
DecisionTech execs referred to as The Staff NOT as a team
Intelligent, impressive education backgrounds
Underlying tension in meetings
Few real exchanges
Jeff (former CEO)
Skilled at venture capital and recruiting
Not a good manager
Not bitter about demotion
Mikey (Marketing)
Brand building genius
Complained a lot
Talked too much at meetings
Rolls her eyes
Martin (Chief Technologist)
A founder of company
Advanced degrees from Berkeley and Cambridge
Viewed as a competitive advantage
Does not participate in meetings
Sarcastic
JR (sales)
Rarely followed through
Respected
Carlos (Customer Support)
Spoke little
Always says important, constructive things
Worked long hours
Humble
Low maintenance
Jan (CFO)
Detail oriented
Treated money as her own
Nick (COO)
Little meaningful day to day work because expansion not happening
Thought everyone else inferior
Kathryn insisted on everyone attending offsite, pushed off sales meeting
Analogy that a broken team is like a broken arm--might have to rebreak it
Kathryn insisted everyone be present, that Martin put away his computer during meeting
5 Dysfunctions
Absence of trust
Inability to understand and open up to one another
Teams should be unafraid to air dirty laundry
Evidence: lack of debate during staff meetings
Tool--share 5 personal items from childhood
Must overcome need for invulnerability
Tool--share greatest strength and weakness
Inattention to results
Seeking out individual recognition at the expense of results
Need to define team goals/create team scoreboard
evidence--CTO did not know PR numbers
Definition of politics--ppl choose words and actions based on how they
want others to react rather than what they actually think
Fear of conflict
Leads to artificial harmony
Lack of commitment
Getting everyone to buy in
Consensus not necessary
Avoidance of accountability
Low standards
Buy in necessary to be able to hold ppl accountable
5 dsyfunctions:
Absence of trust
Inattention to results
Fear of conflict
Lack of commitment
Avoicance of accountability
Comparison of movies to meetings
Need conflict
Created collective goal of getting 18 new customers--what does each person/function
need to do to make this happen
After offsite went back to usual habits
Proposed acquisition
Kathryn chastised Nick for speaking ill of Mikey while she wasnt in the room
JR (sales) quit
Nick takes on sales job with support of team
Offsite number 2
Talk that their teams more important to them than exec team
First team has to be exec team
One on one meeting with Mikey
Demanded severance package and resignation
When Joseph joined team--each of team members walked through dysfunctions not just
Kathryn
Result
Tie for first position in the industry
Turnover decreased
Increase in morale
Reduced direct reports to make team more manageable, Jeffs idea
Tools
5 Dysfunctions
Absence of trust
Stems from unwillingness to be vulnerable within the group
Trust that team members intentions are good
Vulnerabilities: weaknesses, skill deficiencies, interpersonal
shortcomings, mistakes, and requests for help
Exercises:
personal history exercise--hometown, etc.
Team effectiveness exercise--identify greatest
contributions of team members and area to
improve/eliminate
Personality and behavioral preference profiles--Myers
Briggs, Everything DiSC
360 Degree feedback
Experiential Team exercises--e.g. Ropes course
Leader must demonstrate vulnerability first

Fear of conflict
Need passionate debate of ideas
Healthy conflict is a time saver
Exercises:
Mining--assign someone to mine conflict, call out issues
Real-time permission--when conflict is encouraging,
vocally encourage
Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI)--tells
natural inclinations around conflict
Leaders must model conflict
Lack of commitment
Need team to buy in and commit to decisions
Commitment is function of clarity and buy-in
Creates ripple effects with subordinates
Exercises:
Cascading Messaging--agree on message to be
communicated to subordinates
Deadlines--set clear deadlines for when decisions will be
made
Worst Case Scenario Analysis--by identifying worst case
as manageable, able to reduce fears of incorrect decision
Low-Risk Exposure Therapy--practice making speedy
decisions
Leader must be comfortable with making a decision that is wrong
Avoidance of accountability
Dont call out team members on counterproductive behaviors
Must enter the danger and be uncomfortable
Most effective way to maintain high standards is peer pressure
Exercises:
Publish goals and standards
Simple and regular progress reviews
Team rewards instead of individual rewards
Inattention to results
Putting ego ahead of the team
Or being okay with being associated with the team regardless of
how it does (e.g. nonprofit, government)
Exercises:
Public declaration of results
Results based rewards
Truly cohesive teams
Trust one another
Engage in unfiltered conflict around ideas
Commit to decisions and plans of action
Hold one another accountable
Focus on the achievement of collective results
Absence of trust
Fear of conflict
Lack of commitment
Avoidance of accountability
Inattention to results