Pfrancing- how to deal with dysfunctional teams

18 02 2009

Regular readers will know that I (believe I) work in a severely dysfunctional unit. I have blogged before about the management approach to this. Those who have insight and QI type knowledge will of course know that

a) the ostrich never sticks it head in the sand as a coping strategy
b) Pfrancing is not a described management technique.

The truth is that an ostrich, when threatened, will simply run away. At at 155kg, with legs that can bend metal with a kick, the average ostritch in “flight” can probably average 6o km per hour.

Unfortunately, I think Pfrancing should become a recognised management technique and rather than the proverbial head in the sand, Pfrancing describes the real exit strategy of the ostrich.

The leadership fable ” The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick M. Lencioni is is an interesting read and I won’t spoil the ending for you. The ultimate sadness for me (not the divorce of the heroine, don’t worry) is that it is clear that the impetus and authority to managing and overcoming the dysfunctions of a team must come from external sources. A leadership role has to be taken by a person of both influence and authority for the group such that appropriate strategies can be worked through.

There is no suggestion that this will be easy, nor achieved in a short term but, if there is value placed on the team and its ultimate survival rather than decay into the mire of dysfunctionality, that strategy must be undertaken.

Our experience is that it was suggested that we might like to “talk things out”. The response was a whole set of preconditions and no date was agreed. That was over three months ago.

That’s Pfrancing for you though.

Have a listen to the man himself!













(I’m sorry this sounds so bitter, but expressing it certainly helps me cope.)




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