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Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors Hardcover – February 17, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. 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.)
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Review

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)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (February 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787976385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787976385
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Lencioni is quickly becoming a legend in modern business writing (publishers Jossey-Bass must rub their hands in glee every time he phones them and says he has a new title in the works,) but this is precisely because he is a smooth communicator who works outside the dry confines of academic writing. He does this by focusing on the story-telling - using fables and realistic stories to illustrate the all-to-common problems inside today's organizations.

Here he tackles a really big issue: the "silo mentality" that results in companies where 1+1+1=2 due to lost energy, time and commitment because the toughest competition comes from "the people over in engineering" or "the money people who don't understand we have to spend to get our product to market." Etc Etc.

In fact Ed Schein, who is worth checking out because he's the godfather of Organizational studies, concluded after some 45 years in the field, that organizations fundamentally break into three tribes: the engineers, the money people and the "people" people (marketing, HR etc.) He came to accept this as a reality, and advises us to work around it, live with it, instead of trying to get everyone to see everything the same way.

To his credit, Lencioni fundamentally shows the same acceptance. He doesn't lay down a single "thou shalt" template for universal values alignment within organizations - and he recognises the differences inherent within units of an organization. What he does is set up some simple rules for getting these divisions to at least pull in the same direction and focus on shared objectives.

Not all readers feel 100% comfortable with the Lencioni style.
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Format: Hardcover
The 2 stars is the average I give to all the fable books written by Patrick.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: 5 stars

Obviously, it is the best one. (you can see it from the sales record in Amazon). It was the first Patrick's book I read. I have finished reading the whole book in one setting and couldn't wait and jump to look for his other books. The book has a reasonable length, setting up a bit simplified, but not over-simplified, and still reasonable fable-like setting to illustrate all important team dysfunctions and team building skills. The whole book is tight and coherent and an easy but enlightening read. Highly recommended!

Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable 4 stars

It is a good one but not as great as the five team dysfunctions. A very good explanation of all kinds of meetings and how to use each of them. I recommend you buy one, read it and keep it as a reference. One drawback is the author tried to spicy up the book so one of the main characters will occassionally scream out some rude comments if he didn't take his pills. I never work with such an unusual person and I prefer less dramatic in a management fable. (not something like in "Desperate Housewife", the neighbor besides you was a serial killer and the housewife across the street did her gardener and used her Chinese maid to bear her baby.)

I should have stopped here and never rush to read his other books..

The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: 2 stars

This is the one made me begin to feel betrayed. If the five dysfunctions have been crafted for months, this one seems to be done within weeks. The fable setting needs more polishing works.
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Format: Hardcover
"Pleeease write that book. The silos in this company are driving me crazy...," so writes one of Pat Lencioni's readers after they meet.

Pat Lencioni has spent his career focused on the "heart" of organizations and identifying behaviors blocking personal and organizational excellence. Lucky for us, he has found another niche, as a best selling author, sharing his observations and remedies in fable form. His first four books - "The Five Temptations of a CEO", "The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive", "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team", and "Death by Meeting" have now sold over one million copies and are being translated into foreign languages.

With "Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars," Lencioni has tackled a perplexing problem that has frustrated humanity since the beginning of recorded time. `Silos' is a metaphor drawn from the large grain silos that one sees throughout the US Midwest. It is a term of derision that suggests that each department on an organization chart is a silo and that its stands alone, not interacting with any of the other departmental silos.

Lencioni addresses a serious problem facing most organizational leaders. A recent study by the American Management Association found 97% of executives believed `silos' have negative effects on organizations, 31% believed they have extensive destructive consequences, and 83% believed they existed in their companies.

As with earlier books, "Silos" centers on a fictional story and ends with a separate insightful analysis providing tools to help readers minimize or possibly eliminate Silos, and the aftermath (politics and turf wars), in their organizations. This book will appeal to anyone who works for or leads any organization, as well as community and political leaders.
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