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Book Review – THE FIVE DYSFUNCTIONS OF A TEAM: A LEADERSHIP FABLE — PATRICK LENCIONI, JOSSEY BASS. WILEY, 2002.

May 2

Every organisation within and outside of education faces, at some point, the need to address issues around trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, or results. In fact, these are areas we continually work on, in, and across our teams. Lencioni’s work promotes these five areas as the necessary components of a successful, functioning team. If any are absent, a team will not be successful in achieving its common goal or desired results.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is an easy-to-read fable created by Lencioni to illustrate his theory in real terms for leaders, or for anyone working in, or with, collaborative groups or teams. The fable follows the efforts of a newly-appointed leader who has been introduced to an organisation with several dysfunctional practices. She uses Lencioni’s theory to observe the staff and then to slowly address their areas of need in terms of working successfully as a team. There are challenges along the way — as there always are when working with other people — and the fable shows practical ways to introduce the model and then address the five dysfunctions. At the end of the fable, Lencioni provides a series of chapters outlining the five dysfunctions in detail, along with some strategies for leaders.

CORE facilitators use this book to support CoLs, Clusters, teaching teams, and many other groups, both within the CORE Whānau and with our clients. Facilitation, teaching, and educational leadership are all human-centred professions, and this book shows you in clear, easy-to-understand ways how to ensure that you can be part of, or lead, highly collaborative groups. Combine this theory with your organisation’s cultural values and with our tikanga Māori — for example, using a wānanga setting to build teamwork — and you can build powerful, connected teams. (Also available on Audible as an audiobook)

Reviewed by Rebbecca Sweeney