Silos, Politics and Turf Wars | Patrick Lencioni

Summary of: Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors
By: Patrick Lencioni


Delve into the world of corporate silos, politics, and turf wars in this summary of Patrick Lencioni’s insightful book ‘Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors’. Through the story of Jude Cousins and his journey from Hatch Technology to starting his own consulting firm, the summary highlights the importance of breaking down organizational silos to enhance productivity and cooperation. Discover actionable advice on establishing a unified thematic goal, crafting a rallying cry, and adopting a crisis mindset to get your business on track towards its objectives.

Silos and Beyond

Jude Cousins joined Hatch Technology and quickly rose to the position of director of corporate communication. However, things took a turn when Bell Financial Systems acquired Hatch and formed Batch, causing political infighting among departments. Despite pitching a unified marketing campaign, Jude found it hard to get things done as different departments fought for their own agendas. Frustrated and feeling betrayed, Jude left Batch and started Cousins Consulting, a firm with a focus on building close relationships with clients. The key takeaway is that leaders must go beyond addressing behavior to address contextual issues that cause departmental separation and politics. They must establish a common goal that remains the top priority of the entire leadership team.

Building a Business with Personal Qualities

Jude Cousins, the founder of a successful consulting firm, leveraged his personal qualities to attract his first customers and establish a good rapport. His firm quickly landed prestigious clients such as the Madison Hotel, JMJ Fitness Machines, Children’s Hospital, and Corpus Christi Church. Despite not knowing what they had in common, Jude loved his early months of consulting, studying businesses, talking to clients, and making helpful suggestions. He picked the “low hanging fruit” by refocusing marketing campaigns and designing methods for tracking projects. Overall, building a business requires personal qualities to establish a good reputation and attract clients.

Breaking Down Silos

When Jude’s successful consultancy ended, he started scrambling for work and found himself tackling the problem of internal divisions, or “silos,” within organizations. Starting with a two-hour discussion about priorities, he identified the defining objectives needed to clarify a thematic goal and brought together a fragmented Madison staff. Jude used exercises that asked employees to talk to people from other departments, list their job problems, and role-play what representatives from other departments would say about their problems to break down the walls between departments. Although his session ended on a positive note, he ran into resistance when he suggested changes to the terminology and hierarchical attitudes reflecting the internal divisions in a hotel. Despite the rejection, Jude provided valuable insights into how to solve silos in organizations.

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