Silos, Politics and Turf Wars

by: Patrick Lencioni
Jossey-Bass (A Wiley Imprint)
© 2006
Reviewed by: Michael LoBue

This is one of Lencioni’s “management fables,” illustrating just how insidiously silos grow within organizations. But there’s good news. There are effective techniques for dealing with the “silo-problem,” and Lencioni shares his techniques at the end of the book, which are almost better than his fable.

The story line he uses is clever — a young professional, Jude Cousins, is beginning to build a consulting practice and realizes that he needs a more stable offering upon which to build a business out of consulting. In the course of searching for a focus, he interviews prospective clients around their problems and discovers a common theme across a very diverse set of organizations, including a small manufacturing firm, a hospital, a hotel and a church.

This is an easy and quick read, but this should not be confused with light or without value.

This book does not apply directly to AMC-managed associations, but it’s not a large leap to recognize the same phenomenon and risks caused by “internal silos” being constructed that separate organizations from the professions or markets they were formed to serve. We can think of this as the “inside – outside silo”.

Simple take-away: “silos are bad for things other than agricultural products – especially organizations!”
Posted in Book Review.

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