Lencioni, The Advantage

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Here’s a really useful book by Patrick Lencioni entitled The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business. As the subtitle suggests, Lencioni’s big thesis is that healthy teams are fruitful teams. To get there he suggests four disciplines as follows:

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  1. Build a cohesive team. Lencioni summarizes, in this chapter, another book he’s written called Five Dysfunctions of a Team. He argues a healthy team needs to trust one another (really), do conflict well, are committed to one another (rather than in competition), hold one another accountable, and achieve good results. He explains through the chapter how to begin to work towards these, and how they relate to one another.
  2. Create clarity. This is achieved by answering the following six questions
    1. Why do we exist?
    2. How do we behave?
    3. What do we do?
    4. How will we succeed?
    5. What is most important right now?
    6. Who must do what?
  3. Overcommunicate clarity. Lencioni states, ’employees won’t believe what leaders are communicating to them until they’ve heard it seven times.’ Therefore we need to keep reminding ourselves of the answers to the six questions.
  4. Reinforce clarity. This is about turning communication into a culture. Lencioni discusses how this can be achieved over time through recruiting, training, managing etc. He also has a really helpful final chapter on ‘the centrality of meetings’ – and how he uses different sorts of meetings to keep his teams on track.

In essence it’s a book about communication, and the power of good communication to build a healthy culture in which people flourish. There’s a lot of really helpful wisdom in this book and I’d certainly recommend it as the type of thing to read and discuss as a team. Enjoy!

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