Dysfunction #3: Lack of Commitment

Without conflict, it is difficult for team members to commit to decisions, creating an
environment where ambiguity prevails. Lack of direction and commitment can make
employees…particularly star employees…disgruntled.

Often times a lack of commitment is caused by the desire for consensus and
the need for clarity. It is important for teams to be able to find ways to achieve buy-in,
even when complete agreement is not possible. Great teams make sure all the opinions
are heard and then reach a decision based on the best solution...
Click here for more information about Patrick Lencioni's
Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Dysfunction #1: Absence of Trust

Essentially, trust within a team is the confidence among team members that their peers’
intentions are good.

Without a certain comfort level among team members, a foundation of trust is next to
An absence of trust occurs when team members are reluctant to be
vulnerable with one another and are unwilling to admit their mistakes,
weaknesses, or needs for help.
Dysfunction #2:  Fear of Conflict

Teams that are lacking on trust are incapable of engaging in unfiltered, passionate
debate about key issues, causing situations where team conflict can easily
turn into veiled discussions and back-channel comments. In a work setting
where team members do not openly air their opinions, inferior decisions are the

Unfortunately, conflict is considered taboo in many situations, especially at work.

And, the higher up you go along the management chain, the more you witness individuals
spending inordinate amounts of time and energy trying to avoid the kind of passionate
debates that are essential to any successful team.
Dysfunction #5:  Inattention to Results

Team members naturally tend development, recognition, etc.) ahead of the collective
goals of the team when individuals aren’t held accountable. If a team has lost sight of
the need for achievement, the business ultimately suffers.

The only way to conquer this dysfunction is to make desired results clear and reward
those behaviors and actions that contribute to those results.
Dysfunction #4: Avoidance of Accountability

When teams don’t commit to a clear plan of action, even the most focused and driven
individuals hesitate to call their peers on actions and behaviors that may seem
counterproductive to the overall good of the team.

Team members who are close may hesitate holding one another accountable
for fear it could jeopardize their relationships.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
by Patrick Lencioni
Maura Larkins' note:

I've always been astounded when teachers refused to admit their mistakes in the classroom.  
What could be worse than knowingly leaving students with false information?  Some teachers are
afraid of being exposed as incompetent, and as a result, they perform worse than they otherwise
would.  For heaven's sake, even geniuses make mistakes.  A confident teacher simply says, "Oh,
that was wrong.  Let me give you the correct information."  
This same thing happens when
teachers are making decisions about how the school will be run.
Teachers abusing students
Team dysfunction
San Diego Education
Report Blog
First 5 San Diego
conflicts of interest and
Pennsylvania School spied
on students using remote
controlled webcams on
School Reform
Schools and Violence
Evaluating teachers
Bullies are likely to be
Improving Teacher Quality
Improving Teachers
Emotional maturity
San Diego Education Report
San Diego
Education Report
San Diego Education Report
San Diego
Education Report
Lying and Truth
Girl culture among teachers
Team dysfunction (SDER II site)
Motivated reasoning
Emotional maturity
Delusions of "normal" people
The following sounds familiar to me as a former employee of CVESD
Three Surprising Revelations from the Auditor Investigations
Apr 9, 2013.
by Liam Dillon
Voice of San Diego

At best for San Diego City Auditor Eduardo Luna, two outside investigative reports
released Monday revealed a dysfunctional office.

[Problems with] ...performance evaluations, lack of direction, nonexistent
policies, constant turnover and demoralization...

"Some days it is a joke and some days it is a nightmare," one ... employee told
an investigator...

The investigator also found Constantin went around the department trying to
suss out who had made the allegations and why. Multiple employees told the
investigator they felt fearful, threatened and intimidated.

"The environment smacks of hypocrisy, and as a result of the latest series of events I
no longer feel comfortable discussing anything with management regarding
administrative issues or the audit processes," one employee told the second

The Facebook Plot

The first investigator found a Facebook exchange between a former employee and
one still working in the office at the time of the workplace injury that sparked the initial
investigation. The employee wrote:

A few weeks ago we decided we didn't have smoking gun (sic). But lying to [state
investigators] might be it. IF someone makes that claim an investigation is done and if
employees tell the true(sic)…well the investigation would have to show lies and cover

The Facebook post turned out to be a smoking gun of a different kind. The
investigator considered it evidence of employees' motive to oust Constantin, and
cleared Constantin of all wrongdoing.

"The desire of the complaining witnesses to allege misconduct against Mr. Constantin,
the inconsistency in their stories, as well as their propensity to draw unreasonable and
exaggerated conclusions and/or engage in pure speculation, impairs their credibility
and makes their accounting of what took place unreliable and not credible," she wrote.

The Neverending Story

The city's Audit Committee, which oversees Luna, had both investigative reports in its
hands since early November. The whole process, from workplace injury to Monday's
completion of the inquiry, took almost a year.

It turns out Luna and Constantin played a big role in the delay.

The first investigator wanted to interview Luna and Constantin in July. The pair's
lawyer, former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, at first wouldn't allow them to talk.

The second investigator ran into the same problems. The investigator attached to his
report a spreadsheet of all the times he tried to contact the pair.

Sworn statements from the interviews, including ones from Luna and Constantin, were
missing signatures. Ed Moreno, one of the employees who complained, didn't sign his
statement, either.

The investigator used all three statements anyway so as not to further delay his report.

this is the very type of conduct that OCA investigators identify as
'red flags': a lack of structure and organized control in the department, 'going
around and around' in an effort to hinder or delay an investigation and
general 'push back,'"
the investigator wrote.
Teamwork among teachers
Why some school
cultures stink:
6 Signs Your Company's
Culture Stinks
Matt Ehrlichman

1. You've got gossips in your

No one likes jerks. But almost
as detrimental to being jerky is
being a gossip queen. This is
the antithesis of transparency
and collaboration. Even if it is
not malicious, it erodes an
organization’s culture and
energy over time. Cliques form
and employees find comfort in
their connection to each other
through trash-talking--instead
of building relationships based
on accomplishments and goals.

2. Your leadership team has
bad habits.

Culture is a normative
inheritance, much like child
rearing. Kids look and act like
their parents despite how hard
they try to do otherwise. The
same holds true in your
organization. Your leadership is
the best indicator of the entire
organization and so employees'
bad tempers, sloppiness, lack
of collaboration, and general
attitude provide valuable
insight into the health of the

3. Your managers' hands are
too clean.

When managers are not willing
to get their hands dirty with the
troops or do hard work, there's
no number of free lunches that
can help your company. There
are severe culture
consequences when managers
are disengaged from the front
lines and, by extension, your

4. Your employees are
competing--with each other.

Competition is great. It’s
imperative. I believe that you
should compete with yourself.
What is not necessary is
competing internally. You know
you have a rotten culture when
employees spend more time
competing with each other than
with external forces...

I loved this comment:

You know, you can't take an
article called "why your high
school stinks" and just
change the title...
09/04/2013 11:20 AM
Science Roundup:
Jane J. Lee
National Geographic
October 4, 2013

...Swarm Intelligence

...As long as the
overarching goal of the
group remains the
same—such as the
ultimate destination for
migrators or where to
forage for food—
diversity of opinion on
how to reach those
goals results in
smarter decisions.

Published in the
November issue of the
journal American
Naturalist, the study
looked at how group
members in a computer
simulation fared under
different conditions.
Groups with limited
information in uncertain
environments made
much better decisions
about what to do when
they included a diversity
of opinion than if they all
wanted to reach their
goal in the same way.

"These results provide a
strong argument in the
interest of all
stakeholders for not
excluding other (e.g.,
minority) factions from
collective decisions,"
wrote the study authors.