Joe is an interactive management consultant, psychological coach, writer, and founder of Innate Leaders. He consults with a wide range of organizations in the non-profit, public and private sectors. He specialises in leadership, change management and senior team development.
Thanks, Don. The point of thinking about biased is thinking about the way we think. It sounds like your boss encouraged that. A consequence of not thinking about how we do things is we'll tend to use the approach we always do. I agree not a deadly disease, but it does beg the question, "How do we know we have the best possible solution if we always use our go to approach?"
Thanks, russlater. We only need to look at examples like Enron and the financial crash of 2008 to see the truth of your point. I like idea of black hat meetings. Formally appointed Devil's Advocates can work too. I’ve found a rotating devil’s advocate works well so the responsibility doesn’t fall on one person. Rotation also helps others build the muscle of taking counter positions.
Thanks, Shonette, good point. The goal of any team is to hear and act on ideas. That those ideas may be drowned out is just one of the consequences of groupthink. As you say it’s tricky, and needs managers to act consciously to create the kind of team dynamic where debate isn’t seen as bad thing, but can be useful.
Thanks, DonR, yes it’s true these ideas have been around for a long time so I’m glad you found this a different perspective. What’s interesting to me is that despite us all knowing strong teams are made of diverse groups—where as you say businesses “actively and deliberately solicit ideas/suggestions/criticisms”—the reality is very few businesses do this effectively. I'm looking forward to a time when that's no longer the case...