Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cohesiveness vs. Groupthink, who's keeping score?

I read this interesting blog post on the Vital Integrities blog. It talked about the benefits of cohesiveness in a team environment and the "dangers" of groupthink. The benefits of a team environment (cohesiveness) they list are things such as greater individual performance, better morale, greater job satisfaction, etc.
Now, "groupthink" is the big, bad wolf in the equation. I remember from my psychology classes from years ago that groupthink was responsible for basically every bad decision our government has ever made. The V.I. blog lists the Bay of Pigs invasion and the lack of warning on Pearl Harbor as examples.
So, what to do about the big "G" word? It's simple: create a space for your team where questions, comments, and concerns can and ARE voiced freely without fear or repercussion. I would be willing to bet lots of your money that many of these things supposedly caused by the "G" word were because of militaristic thinking. "I'm the lowest rank in here, I can't question my superiors". The United States would still belong to the United Kingdom if this was the case.
I didn't mean to get all historical on everyone. I am pointing out the fact that the "dangers" of groupthink only go so far in my opinion. Create a space where your people are free to raise questions and objections and you won't have to worry about the "G" word or your company's version of the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Read the Vital Integrities blog here...