Can You Prevent Groupthink? Maybe.

Can You Prevent Groupthink? Maybe. Groupthink is a powerful but unseen force in organizations. In our example, you were wise to consider how you would be perceived by the group and it probably didn’t matter that you went along with the majority. But what if the outcome had been really important? Or if you were sure you had the right answer? How could you discourage groupthink to open up the discussion? Below are ways to handle the most common groupthink. Groupthink symptom What you can do Confirmation bias. A group only considers information supporting what it has already decided is true. You can call the group on its actions. “I wonder if we should slow down a bit to be sure we consider all possibilities. Jessica had a good point. Could you repeat it?”   Information cascade. As more people believe, the idea’s legitimacy increases and the desire for other solutions falls.[1] Again, bring the group’s attention to its behavior. “Whoa. I think Dan’s idea has great potential but Beth, you’re the expert in systems architecture. Do you think Dan’s idea will fly?”   False consensus effect. Overestimating the commonness of your beliefs and undervaluing opposing views.[2] “I don’t know…

How Groupthink Can Get You

How Groupthink Can Get You In the last post, you wanted to generate out-of-the-box ideas but were shot down. You left the meeting feeling vaguely bad, perhaps because your idea never got off the ground. Perhaps, but a much more powerful force had probably doomed your idea from the start: Groupthink. What is Groupthink? Groupthink is the tendency of a group to hold the same opinions and views. Sometimes that’s good. For something straightforward, it’s very helpful. But this technique is primarily about efficiency–completing the task using the fewest resources in the least time. Unfortunately, organizations are addicted to groupthink and apply it indiscriminately. In our example, the group was aiming for effectiveness–the right solution–not one generated in record time with the fewest people thinking. Did You Have a Better Idea? You may not have, but the key thing is it was never seriously considered. Maybe the Executive Committee really is looking for radical solutions or wants a way into new technology. Because nobody knew exactly what was wanted, a better approach would have been to float both ideas.Why didn’t this happen? Groupthink narrows the options Jeff, perhaps unconsciously but certainly cleverly, uses what researchers have found to be common in groupthink….

Thinking No, Saying Yes–Groupthink in Action

Thinking No, Saying Yes-Groupthink in Action You work in a large document shredding company. The company needs a new strategic direction because businesses now post confidential documents to secure sites. The President’s note to staff asked for out-of-the-box ideas. Your chance for profile Your Director was attending these meetings but the baby came early and you`re her replacement. You have a great idea you can`t wait to table. Everybody at the meeting is more senior than you. It’s a bit daunting but also an ideal opportunity to get air time in front of managers who could promote you. The Director of Ops, Jeff, is chairing. The first groupthink technique Jeff: Let’s get started. Welcome, Steph. At the last meeting, we pretty much agreed to a new fleet of trucks to pick up both recycling and documents for shredding. Somebody: Yeah, the way to go. (general murmur of agreement) You speak up But you happen to be looking at Max, the only person you know, who has a troubled look and isn’t nodding. Makes you think that maybe it isn’t a done deal. You: There might be another option. The company already has the confidence of its clients. Why not a…