Is Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team outdated?

I’ve been in a couple recent conversations where the question has been asked, “Is Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team outdated?”

Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team was first published in 2002 and has since become a classic and widely used book on team dynamics and leadership. While the book was written almost two decades ago, its insights and principles are still relevant and applicable to teams today.

The five dysfunctions that Lencioni identified (absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results) are still prevalent in many teams, and the book’s recommendations for overcoming these dysfunctions remain valuable.

That said, some aspects of the book may need to be updated or adapted to suit the changing landscape of work and team dynamics. For example, the book was written before the widespread adoption of remote work, so some of the specific examples and recommendations may not apply as directly to virtual teams.

Overall, while The Five Dysfunctions of a Team may not be completely up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in team collaboration, its core principles and insights remain valuable for anyone leading or working in a team.  For this reason, it remains a foundational piece of my leadership principles and team alignment process.

How about you?  Do you believe in these principles?  Have you re-visited them in the past year?

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