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Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors

ISBN: 978-0-7879-7638-5
224 pages
February 2006, Jossey-Bass
Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors (0787976385) cover image


In yet another page-turner, New York Times best-selling author and acclaimed management expert Patrick Lencioni addresses the costly and maddening issue of silos, the barriers that create organizational politics. Silos devastate organizations, kill productivity, push good people out the door, and jeopardize the achievement of corporate goals.

As with his other books, Lencioni writes Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars as a fictional—but eerily realistic—story. The story is about Jude Cousins, an eager young management consultant struggling to launch his practice by solving one of the more universal and frustrating problems faced by his clients. Through trial and error, he develops a simple yet ground-breaking approach for helping them transform confusion and infighting into clarity and alignment.

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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

The Fable

Part One: Entrepreneurial Ambition 3

Part Two: Roller Coaster 19

Part Three: Rally 77

Part Four: Moments of Truth 139

The Theory

Introduction to Silos 175

Components of the Model 178

Identifying a Thematic Goal 187

Case Studies 189

Managing and Organizing Around the Thematic Goal 197

Thematic Goals and Long-Term Context 202

Making Matrix Organizations Work 205

Getting Started 207

Acknowledgments 209

About the Author 211

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Author Information

PATRICK LENCIONI is founder and president of The Table Group, a management consulting firm specializing in executive team development and organizational health. As a consultant and keynote speaker, he has worked with thousands of senior executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500s and high-tech start-ups to universities and nonprofits. He is the author of nine nationally recognized books, including the New York Times best-seller The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. You can reach him at The Table Group's web site, www.tablegroup.com

For a free downloadable Silo tool, or to sign up for Patrick's newsletter, please visit www.tablegroup.com/silos

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New to This Edition

SALES TRACK RECORD: Lencioni publications are best sellers! The Five Dysfunctions of a Team has turned into a runaway hit and become a mainstay on several bestseller lists.

TRUE TO THE "LENCIONI FORMULA": Like his other successful stories, this one tackles a tough business issue in both an entertaining and instructive way.

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Marketing won't speak to engineering. Sales thinks production hogs the budget. Front desk believes back room's lazy. These sorts of turf wars, which turn outwardly unified companies into groupings of uncommunicative "silos," are the stuff of management lore. According to bestselling author Lencioni (The Five Dysfunctions of a Team), "they waste resources, kill productivity and jeopardize the achievement of goals"—they also drive workers into tizzies of frustration. Like his previous books, Lencioni's latest addresses the management problem through a fictional story; this one revolves around a self-employed consultant named Jude, who has to dismantle silos at an upscale hotel, a technology company and a hospital. Split into two sections, Lencioni's book first shows Jude discovering a solution to silos, then summarizes Jude's lessons into a strategy that readers can apply to any business. Lencioni's proposal is so full of common sense—namely, end turf wars by getting departments to rally around a common goal—that managers will be eager to apply it themselves. Just as refreshing is Lencioni's use of character and plot, which is far above average for the business genre. As sympathetic as Jude is, he makes Lencioni's management lessons memorable. (Mar.) (Publishers Weekly, January 30, 2006)

"...an excellent book that nearly everyone will identify with and benefit from..." (Personnel Today, May 2006)

"... an engaging, simplistic read, and one that reinforced many impressions about the ‘problems within’ and strategies to solve them.” (The British Journal Of Administrative Management, February/March 07)

"...if your business experiences politics... this book may be for you."  (EN, the magazine for entrepreneurs, January 2008)

"Lencioni's theory around alignment is simple and powerful, and could apply to any type of organization, large or small."
--Gary C. Kelly, vice chairman and chief executive officer, Southwest Airlines Co.

"An incisive and insightful look at how companies can recognize and remedy infighting.  The tone of Patrick’s writing is as warm and readable as the advice itself is sound."
--Michael A. George, chief marketing officer, Dell Inc.

"Lencioni is a master at creating real and tangible company alignment. We're using these principles to rally our people around building a global brand.  Huge applause from our entire organization."
--Brian Scudamore, founder & CEO, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

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Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors (US $24.95)

-and- Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers, and Facilitators (US $27.95)

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