Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors wasn’t Patrick Lencion’s best book, but it wasn’t bad, either. I think all six of his books are well worth a read (list at the bottom of the post). And in fact, they really belong in two categories.
The Three Signs of a Miserable Job (post, link), The Five Temptations of a CEO (post, link), and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive (post, link) are all related around the topic of management.
Death by Meeting (post, link), The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (post, link), and Silos, Politics and Turf Wars, on the other hand, are all related around the topic of leading a team and healthy team dynamics. This latest book, which is the last of his six books for me, rounds out this topic nicely, in a fun “novel” format as is the case with his other books.
The book hammers home the theme of an executive team needing to first be a team and then second be a collection of group heads as a means of breaking down barriers that exist inside organizations. It also lays out a framework for creating high-level alignment inside a team. The framework may or may not be perfect — we are using a different one at Return Path (the Balanced Scorecard) that accomplishes most of the same things — but for those companies who don’t have one, it’s as good as any.
The most compelling point in the book, though is the point that teams often make the most progress, change the most, and do their best work when their backs are up against a wall. And the point Lencioni makes here is — “why wait for a crisis?”
At any rate, another good, quick book, and absolutely worth reading along with the others, particularly along with the other two closely related ones. I’m definitely sorry to be done with the series. We may try the “field guide” companion to The Five Dysfunctions and see how the practical exercises work out.
The full series roundup is: