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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Management Team building in the Philippines

A lot of times, the lack of teamwork in an organization can be traced back to the management team and why not? It's the management team that shapes the culture of the organization. The little kingdoms we see are built by managers who build solidarity within their departments to the detriment of their relationship with people in other departments. These are managers who see themselves as leaders of their respective departments first before being members of the management team.

Patrick Lencioni's book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team highlights the causes of this problem and what people in organizations need to do in order to overcome the so called dysfunction.

The five dysfunctions namely absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to result are seen first among managers and the behavior is modeled and emulated by people below. Show me a management team that do not demonstrate these behaviors and I will show you a strong and cohesive organization. In short, a dysfunctional organization is a product of a dysfunctional management team... Reality bites.

I am convinced that an organization that is serious about the pursuit of teamwork, should start with its management team. The management team members should learn to build trust in each other and model the behaviors that build trust in the organization. This means more candor, less back channel politics, and demonstrating respect by validating rather than guessing motives. The open communication should pave the way to clarity and buy-in that leads to commitment. All these will open managers to becoming accountable not only for their own action but for the action of others. All these will help them focus on the results that matter and commit to whatever strategies they agree to. I believe that a management team building effort should aim at achieving these. Strategies from one facilitator to another may vary but in the end, norms should be established around overcoming the dysfunctions and building a really cohesive management team.

After you build your management team and you need help expiditing the spread of teamwork in the entire organization, call me! (Shameless self-promotion again!!!)

What could stop a company from taking this route? DENIAL


  1. Joe Espana5:21 PM

    This is an excellent posting which, having worked with senior teams for the best part of 10 years, I can confirm is the reality of many situations. As a teambuilding organisation, among other things, we know that high performance cultures and a climate of teamwork is driven from the top. I can think of several clients we have worked with were Lencioni's 5 dysfunctions are operating very well, thank you very much. The one aspect I would add is that with any team, the leaders role in that team, irrespective of organisational levels, is going to be paramount. How often have we seen one or more of the dysfunctions being actively avoided by the senior menber or CEO? In the absence of whatever it takes for the CEO or other to deal with the dysfunctions, they need support through coaching or some other leadership development that enables them to grasp the nettle and turn the team around. Find out more about how we build high performance teams at our site

  2. Unfortunately, managers are not trained to collaborate with other managers. Rather, they are rewarded for their individual/department performance. Even the senior leaders struggle with team building as egos do get in the way.

    I agree that strong team building efforts and a strong CEO who drives colloboration is great for the success of the company.

  3. That's true Pat, but they are not untrainable.


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