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Book Review

Silos, Politics and Turf Wars

by Patrick Lencioni

Silos--and the turf wars they enable--devastate organizations. They waste resources, kill productivity and jeopardize the achievement of goals. But beyond that, they exact a considerable human toll too. They cause frustration, stress, and disillusionment by forcing employees to fight bloody, unwinnable battles with people who should be their teammates. There is perhaps no greater cause of professional anxiety and exasperation--not to mention turnover--than employees having to fight with people in their own organization. (excerpted from Silos' introduction).

Over the past several years, we've read and reviewed all of Lencioni's titles, and are just as pleased with this book as his previous tomes. Where some critics of this book have claimed that it is "simplistic" and "fails to offer a real solution," we believe that in typical Lencioni form, he's taken a series of complex issues and excavated until he's found the core. Sometimes, simple is good.

And Lencioni's solution (yes, there is one) is pretty simple. Choose a Thematic Goal that the team can rally around (common enemy--the competition, market share, improved customer satisfaction levels, etc.) and build a plan together to address it (uncover the Defining Objectives for that Thematic Goal).

Of course, a real crisis doesn't hurt either. A crisis can make "discovering a Thematic Goal" very simple. Overcome and survive. In tough times, people rarely have time for the in-fighting to which silos and turf wars give rise.

We recommend this book highly, and urge you to read our interview with Pat Lencioni.