Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dysfunction 5: Inattiention to Results

Inattention to Results resulting from Status and Ego

Synopsis:  If the members of the team do not truly believe in the team’s ability to achieve an overarching goal, they will go rogue to save their individual career.


“The ultimate dysfunction:  the tendency of team members to seek out individual recognition and attention at the expense of . . . collective results – the goals of the entire team” (Lencioni, 2002, p.71).

“The teams that figure it out have a bigger advantage than ever before because most of            their competitors are just a bunch of individuals looking out for themselves” (Lencioni, 2002, p.76).

“Make the results that we need to achieve so clear that no one would even consider doing  something purely to enhance his or her individual status or ego. Because that would diminish our ability to achieve our collective goals. We would all lose” (Lencioni, 2002, p.77).

‘The key, of course, is to define our goals, our results, in a way that is simple enough to grasp easily, and specific enough to be actionable” (Lencioni, 2002, p.78).

A team that is not focused on results... (Lencioni, 2002, p.218)
  • Stagnates/fails to grow
  • Rarely defeats competitors
  • Loses achievement-oriented employees
  • Encourages team members to focus on their own careers and individual goals
  • Is easily distracted
A team that focuses on collective results... (Lencioni, 2002, p. 218)
  • Retains achievement-oriented employees
  • Minimizes individualistic behavior
  • Enjoys success and suffers failure acutely
  • Benefits from individuals who subjugate their own goals/interests for the good of the team
  • Avoids distractions

Suggestions for focusing teams on collective results (Lencioni, 2002, p. 219)
  • Public Declaration of Results - when teams commit publicly to achieving specific results they are more likely to work diligently to achieve those results.
  • Results-Based Rewards - though it should not be the sole method of motivation, tying bonuses and other rewards to results is an effective way to motivate a team toward results.  However, basing bonuses on "trying hard" regardless of outcome is counterproductive in this instance.
What methods has your team used to create an overarching goal that encourages collective results from the team?
(Please click on the 'comments' below and leave your response)


  1. I guess we have made "public declarations" for fundraising goals. We sold chocolate bars to raise money for new computers and everyone knew how many we needed to sell in order to put new computers in the lab.

    Our principal also created "double planning periods" for teachers once a month in which two grade levels had time to collaborate together (1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 5th and 6th). This did encourage teamwork and goal setting.

  2. As a school, we publish specific goals to increase test scores on our website. For instance: CSAP reading scores for boys in primary grades will increase by 20 points this year.

    By publishing the goals, anyone who works with primary boys will be interested in helping them with reading.

  3. Hi there. It doesn't appear that this blog is particularly active, but I thought I'd share an "oops" anyways. On the archive navigation, I noticed that "Dysfunction 5: Inattiention to Results" includes a spelling error..."Inattiention" vs "Inattention". Ironic? cheers/mark


Add your comments about the above dysfunction and discussion question here.