I’m a sucker for a fable. I attest this to the fact that my dad, a preacher with a strong streak of Southern in him, told stories all my life. Patrick Lencioni, author of Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars, weaves modern fables to distill his business principles for success. He has a series of books centered on his ideas of trust, functional leadership, and healthy organizations. Lencioni’s fables avoid being hackneyed and breathe new life into sound business principles.
In Silos, Lencioni uses the story of Jude Cousins, an entrepreneur consultant, to show the damaging effects of what happens when colleagues turn into competitors. Jude leaves a prominent tech company following a merger because of interdepartmental politics. After starting his own consulting firm, he finds himself serving a number of clients – including his old company – who struggle with getting past those company politics. By the end of the fable, Jude has figured out the secret to eliminating corporate politics. It’s so simple. Yet so few companies actually practice what he recommends.
Since I was of working age, I’ve worked in over fifteen corporate settings. While each company’s products and services were different, one thing remained the same: one department disliked another. In fact, at a couple of offices, departments actively worked to undermined one another. And managers wonder why productivity is down.
Lencioni cuts through the excuses that occur with turf wars. Using the image of the emergency room, he reveals that it is possible to work toward a common goal without agenda or competition.
If you find yourself at a loss to get your teams to work together effectively, I strongly recommend reading Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars. It’s a quick, entertaining read and you may find yourself like I did, nodding along in agreement, excited to change for the better.
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