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OPTIMA21 headliner Patrick Lencioni pulls at the roots of team dysfunction

Patrick Lencioni is the founder and president of The Table Group, a California-based consulting outfit dedicated to making workplaces more fulfilling. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author and keynote speaker at OPTIMA21, the virtual mega-event showcasing all that’s new in the world of talent optimization. 

Given the year that was, Lencioni is perhaps the perfect headliner for a business world emerging from economic stagnation. His book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, was first published nearly 20 years ago. And yet the lessons on team dynamics, cohesion, and organizational growing pains ring as true today as they ever have.  

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The 2021 State of Talent Optimization report surveyed more than 500 executives and directors regarding their business health. The findings underscored connections between team cohesion and measurable success. 

Companies who focused on their people during the worst of the pandemic generally emerged better for it. And in doing so, many of those businesses utilized behavioral data not only to better understand their personnel, but to ensure team members were working well together. 

Lencioni’s book was ahead of its time in many ways. It’s a leadership fable, one that takes an engaging approach to the day-to-day struggles executives oversee. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team recognized how much time the C-suite could spend addressing people problems, and how detrimental that could be to productivity.

Lencioni put names to the problems business leaders were facing by identifying the five forces. And, equally important, he provided real, actionable steps for alleviating those issues. Take a look at the figures below. The report confirmed that the past year took its toll on companies’ greatest asset—their people—in the form of burnout. This was true whether a business practiced talent optimization or not.

OPTIMA’s evolving lineup leads off with Lencioni.

Lencioni is just one of several thought leaders joining OPTIMA21, which brings extra oomph this year. The event team has been hard at work since 2019, ensuring an exciting, all-new virtual experience. The show packs two years talent optimization developments into a day’s worth of sessions, speaking engagements, and live demos.

In addition to Lencioni, you’ll hear from Guy Raz, host of the NPR podcast How I Built This, and Dara Treseder, Senior Vice President at Peloton. Baratunde Thurston, activist, comedian, and author of How To Be Black, rounds out a star-studded cast of keynote speakers. 

Beyond the main stage, there will be plenty of pioneering practitioners of the talent optimization discipline. PI CEO Mike Zani, PI’s SVP of Product Alisa Sheyn, and The Godfather of Talent Optimization himself, Matt Poepsel, PhD, will join the likes of Dawn Sharifan, VP of People at Slack, and Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business, among many others. 

From team building and talent design, to everything hiring and engagement, the premier talent optimization event has all angles covered. Whether you’re a business leader who’s been at these practices for years, or someone who’s just looking to get started, you won’t want to miss it. 


Andy is a content writer and editor at PI. He's an unashamed map geek, hoops enthusiast, and Goldfish cracker aficionado.

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