21 May, Tuesday
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Proakatemian esseepankki

Favorable conditions to overcome dysfunctions of a team

Kirjoittanut: Esseepankin arkisto - tiimistä Ei tiimiä.

Esseen tyyppi: / esseepistettä.

Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

Favorable conditions to overcome dysfunctions of a team

The five dysfunctions of a team – Patrick Lencioni

The book is a leadership fable of an imaginary company called Decision Tech Inc. The company has every means to be the market leader in its field but they are struggling to grow their market. The story starts when Decision Tech hires new CEO, Kathryn Petersen, who starts by recognizing the companies struggle to work as a team. She understands that even the most talented individuals alone don’t have the potential of a good team.

I find this book very useful and particularly for us here at Proakatemia. I hope I would have read this book already before we started at Proakatemia. The five dysfunctions introduced in the book are not just some theoretical concepts that you would need to apply into real situations, but they are recognizable issues that I can point out in our team.

In our team, Jumble Osk, there is now only multiple small groups of people doing their own projects and efforts to build a functioning team is appears to be low, even though we have a great potential to become successful team. I find dysfunctions in our situation, so let me introduce the model of The Five dysfunctions at this point.




  1. Absence of trust

The bottom of the pyramid is the foundation for building a functioning team. Lack of trust amongst team members is essentially unwillingness to be vulnerable within the group. Team members that are open with one another about their mistakes and weaknesses can establish a solid foundation for the team.


  1. Fear of conflict

Fragile foundation damages the team and the lack of trust creates a fear of conflict. Team members are incapable of engaging in debate of ideas and only offer guarded opinions to avoid any friction.



  1. Lack of commitment

Lack of healthy conflicts creates the next dysfunction of a team: lack of commitment. As team members have not bought into the decision they do not feel committed to the decision, though they may seem to agree.


  1. Avoidance of accountability

Lack of commitment results in team members not making each other accountable. Without committing to a clear plan of action, even the most driven often hesitate to call their peers accountable.


  1. Inattention to results

If the team members do not feel accountable, they will put their individual needs or even their own divisions above the collective goals of the team.


I personally think that there is more to this. Every team needs also favorable conditions to be able to build a good, solid foundation of trust. Our team has been struggling a lot because of fear of not having enough time to meet individual expectations. This feeds already the fifth dysfunction, inattention to results, because most of the team members are fixated to achieve their own plans that have been set already before starting the Proakatemia module.

This prevents the team to find a clear plan, which leads in to lack of commitment and fear of conflict. You may notice what I am trying to explain here. The issues cannot be addressed isolated from one another.

Our members appear to be afraid of the time to run out before they have “made money” or a successful project that fits to their career plans and individual needs that the members are not willing to build the team in the first place.

My point here is, that if the conditions are like this, it is very complicated to get members to buy in to the idea of working as a team. How could we create an effective culture for short team entrepreneurship studies? My personal view is that we need to approach this more like a professional sports teams do; they carefully choose the members to create the best possible team.

The book suggests that every member of the team needs to understand the dysfunctions in the team to overcome them. I can agree with this. To make the team become better we need to be honest to ourselves and address the issues that causes dysfunctions.

I don’t want to have a negative impression, but honest. I see a lot of potential in every team, ours especially and I am looking forward to seeing if our limited time allows us to overcome our dysfunctions.

  • Joonas Koivumaa

    Good essay Teemu! It would’ve been great if you would have expanded the five dysfunctions even more or maybe expand the reflection and thinking to point that when it is not possible to choose your team member. How would you solve the issue then?