Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable about Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into CompetitorsSilos, Politics, and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable about Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors by Patrick Lencioni

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wasn’t sure I would like the idea of a fable/fictional account of a company as much as real world examples, but I suppose real world examples often get bent to make a point as well. The main point of this book was great. Companies/organizations are at their best in a crisis mode, but when a company/organization is successful for a long time (or sometimes not so long) they tend to have inter-departmental silos, politics and turf wars.

So why wait for a crisis to bring out the best in your organization?

Why not generate a rally cry or “thematic goal” that everyone in the organization can rally around for the greater good of the organization. This doesn’t forsake the day to day, but in addition to operational goals with the understanding that if an unhealthy silo-ing company/organization continues to meet operational goals they will be in the same position next month or next year or in 5 years.

Lencioni suggests that a thematic goal is made driven by an action:
• Complete the merge of two organizations
• Reposition the company for more health-conscious consumers
• Restore the school’s reputation
• etc

And then they are supported by defining objectives that are the building blocks of a thematic goal.

He clarified that a thematic goal is a time specific goal with a clear stopping point and is not to be confused with a vision or mission or BHAG.

Most encouraging line in the book for me, as that I currently work at a church was in the last chapter where he said “he would learn that silos in churches can be particularly difficult to dismantle, but that clarity of mission there can be a powerful motivator for doing so.”

Overall a fast read, thought provoking and a clear summary made this a useful book.

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photo credit: Brian Koprowski via photopin cc