How to Steer Clear of Groupthink

Harvard Business

Three research-backed strategies to keep innovative ideas flowing. Collaboration and teams Cognitive bias Innovation Experimentation Disruptive innovation Decision making and problem solving Digital Article

Incumbentitis - The Anti-Innovation Disease

Mills Scofield

Of innovating? Netflix Menasha Innovation Culture Innovation Incumbentitis Incumbent IBM Groupthink Ford AppleWell, we've just been through quite an election - out with the ‘old', in with the new - well, somewhat, there were several incumbents re-elected. This isn't a mandate for or against either party; it was a mandate for an economic revolution to get rid of big government and make one that works for the people.


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Quiet: A book review by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking Susan Cain Crown Publishers (2012) How and why our location on “the introvert-extrovert spectrum” influences most (if not all) of our decisions and opinions Throughout most of her book, Susan Cain takes a balanced approach to the immensely difficult task of examining the [.]. Bob's blog entries Albert Einstein Andrew Carnegie being or at least seeming “cool C.A.

Yes, You Can Brainstorm Without Groupthink

Harvard Business Review

In articles in both the New York Times and The New Yorker earlier this year, the concept of brainstorming as introduced in the 1940's by Alex Osborn has been attacked as ineffective and linked to the concept of " Groupthink.". Suffice it to say, we dislike consensus-based "Groupthink" as much as the next person. We are strong advocates of collaboration in innovation, and believe that the proper use of brainstorming techniques is a powerful tool in the collaborative approach.

The Problem-Solving Process That Prevents Groupthink

Harvard Business Review

Innovative Teams (20-Minute Manager Series). Innovation Book. There are two reasons most of us aren’t very good at creative problem solving. First, few people get training in how to be creative in their education. Second, few people understand group dynamics well enough to harness their power to help groups maximize their creativity. Resolving the first issue requires getting your employees to learn more about the way they think… a tall order for managers.

Problems stem from bad data, wrong assumptions, and false conclusions

Mike Cardus

Groupthink: over time, people working together will tend to think the same way, believe the same conclusions and results. Re-checking the information, using different personnel is necessary to avoid stuckness-thinking and groupthink.

Originals or How Non-Conformists Move the World

Leading Blog

For most of us we are not like the conceptual innovators that formulate a big idea early on in life and act on it. We are probably more like the experimental innovators that move through idea after idea, learning and evolving as they go. While experimental innovation can require years or decades to accumulate the requisite knowledge and skill.” Dealing with Groupthink. Cohesion in a group doesn’t cause groupthink. Creativity & Innovation

Can Optimists and Pessimists Ever Get Along?

Lead Change Blog

For instance, they’d suggest an innovative marketing strategy to promote their new product without much regard for anything else. They would also highlight the risks that came with every innovative suggestion, such as penalties by regulators for overhyping medical claims. The optimistic team members often called out the pessimists for derailing innovation and being too hard to please.

July 2021 Leadership Development Carnival

Lead Change Blog

This is why the Imposter Syndrome bedevils us more and more as we rise higher in an organization or move out farther away from organizational groupthink into entrepreneurship to take on more accountability and (potentially) make more costly mistakes. Sean Glaze of Great Results Team Building shared How Great Leaders Get Team Members and Employees to Contribute Ideas for Improvement and Innovation. Welcome to the July 2021 Leadership Development Carnival!

Want to build high-performing teams?

Coaching Tip

In China, employee perceptions of inclusion accounted for 78% of innovation and 71% of team citizenship. In Mexico, they accounted for 51% of innovation and 60% of team citizenship. In India, they accounted for 62% of innovation and 43% of team citizenship. In Australia, Germany and the United States, they accounted for 19% to 22% of innovation, and 29% to 41% of team citizenship.

Tips 105

Get Savvy

Leading Blog

Not only does this foster groupthink, but it most often creates a toxic us versus them mentality “often leading to the demonization of the ‘other’ and contributing to discrimination and sometimes violence.” F AKE NEWS is not a new phenomenon. From the beginning of time, people have played loose with the truth in order to get what they want. Trust too, has waxed and waned over the millennia. It’s not new. People have always had to be on the lookout for fake news.

LeadershipNow 140: January 2017 Compilation

Leading Blog

Here's Why Emotions Are The Secret Sauce Of Innovation by ‏@HessEdward. Seven Attributes of the Most Innovative Cultures by Gordon Redding via @INSEADKnowledge. Unleashing Creativity And Avoiding Groupthink by Michelle M Smith via @octanner. Here are a selection of tweets from January 2017 that you might have missed: Don’t you love the beginning of a new year? by @mark_sanborn. Do team values unite or divide your team? JesseLynStoner.

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India Remakes Global Innovation

Harvard Business Review

In prior blog posts, we have described how Western multinationals such as Xerox and GE are embracing polycentric innovation by sourcing more R&D capabilities from emerging markets such as India and China and integrating them into a synergistic global innovation network. Besides Dr Reddy's, several leading Indian firms are pioneering polycentric innovation: Tata Motors. Polycentric innovation won't work in organizations that promote groupthink.

Asking the Right Questions Often Leads to the Best Answer

Leading Blog

These are questions that require you to challenge groupthink, conventional wisdom, and your own biases. Sesno currently serves as director of George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, and is the creator of Planet Forward, an innovative forum seeking solutions to daunting challenges such as global hunger. * * * Like us on Facebook for additional leadership and personal development ideas.

The 11 Essential Elements Needed to Achieve True Collaboration

Leading Blog

Without diversity groupthink sets in. It is diversity that gives a team the unique perspectives needed to create truly innovative solutions. Dan Sanker states that ironically, in order to remain “competitive” companies will have to become more collaborative. Collaborate: The Art of We is a practical guide to going beyond democratic or cooperative work to creating truly collaborative work environments as a growth strategy.

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36 Lessons for Business & Life from Trillion Dollar Coach Bill Campbell

Leading Blog

The goal of consensus leads to “groupthink” and inferior decisions. Innovation Is Where the Crazy People Have Stature. B ILL CAMPBELL was one of the most influential background players in Silicon Valley. He helped to build some of Silicon Valley’s greatest companies including Google, Apple, and Intuit and to create over a trillion dollars in market value.

Work Together or Fail Alone

Coaching Tip

Jonah Lehrer's article, "GroupThink" in The New Yorker , January 30, 2012 states that brainstorming seems like an ideal technique, a feel-good way to boost productivity. Business Coaching Failure Skills Success Work life building social capital chance encounters innovation laboratory architecture network linchpin scientific research work groups

Tips 89

Fight More. Fight Better.

Talent Anarchy

Innovation is often a product of the intersection—the place where different perspectives, different heuristics, and different experiences crash into each other. We don’t want to fight tooth and nail over every topic that comes up (we’re not trying to be Congress after all), but we also don’t want to be wallowing in groupthink and dishonesty. In Jason’s most recent post , he mentioned the importance of setting rules for conflict.

Race Against Bias: Are we aware of our own unconscious bias?

HR Digest

The tendency to favor innovative ideas coming from authority figures within innovation teams. A form of groupthink which prevents individuals from thinking independently. Pro-Innovation Bias. New ideas and innovations are seen as inherently good, regardless of the potential negative impacts. Unconscious bias is hard-wired into our brains. It’s a survival mechanism, so basic and below our conscious radar.

10 Steps to Rolling Out Core Values at a Small Business


As you can imagine, it resulted in a hot mess of groupthink…complete with vanilla platitudes that can only result from trying to be everything to everyone. They should avoid one-word overused “no duh” adjectives like “innovation” or “integrity.”

Want a Team to be Creative? Make it Diverse

Harvard Business Review

Innovation teams tasked with creating new products or technologies or iterating existing ones need tension to produce breakthroughs, and tension comes from diverse points of view. This is the opposite of groupthink, the creativity-killing phenomenon of too much agreement and too similar perspectives that often paralyzes otherwise great teams. Turning a critic into a passionate advocate and supporter is a great goal in innovation. Creativity Innovation Managing people

3 Ways to Build a Data-Driven Team

Harvard Business

Indeed, being data-driven has joined the ranks of “innovative”, “diverse”, and “socially responsible” as the one of most laudable features of organizational culture, at least if we go by company websites. For example, Amazon encourages disagreements to avoid groupthink and leverage the benefits of cognitive diversity. Inti St Clair/Getty Images.

People Suffer at Work When They Can’t Discuss the Racial Bias They Face Outside of It

Harvard Business

To drive home the urgency, the coalition’s website, , directs visitors to research showing that diverse teams and inclusive leaders unleash innovation, eradicate groupthink, and spur market growth. At the Center for Talent Innovation, we wanted to look into these suspicions.

The Problem with Rewarding Individual Performers

Harvard Business

Thus, constructive dissent needs to be explicitly valued in organizations to avoid groupthink and bad decision-making. To create a culture where constructive feedback and innovation flourishes, leaders should also encourage their employees to pursue organizational goals rather than simply follow organizational norms. In 1968, The Ohio State Buckeyes football team started one of the most cherished traditions in American sports.

Improving the Way Boards, CEOs, and Shareholders Interact

Harvard Business

companies, the guidelines contain helpful (although not entirely novel or innovative) recommendations such as compensating outside directors with stock, giving non-executive directors unfettered access to management, and discouraging the practice of earnings guidance. Marion Barraud for HBR.

Why You Should Have (at Least) Two Careers

Harvard Business

” In other words, they didn’t want to hear the groupthink. Discover Real Innovations. It’s not uncommon to meet a lawyer who’d like to work in renewable energy, or an app developer who’d like to write a novel, or an editor who fantasizes about becoming a landscape designer. Maybe you also dream about switching to a career that’s drastically different from your current job.

How Structured Debate Helps Your Team Grow

Harvard Business Review

Many of us are familiar with the hazards of Groupthink - when teams or organizations operate on autopilot and feel a general false sense of invulnerability. Groupthink happens because of basic social and interpersonal dynamics that include a wish for group harmony, pressures for conformity, increased commitment to ill-advised or outdated strategies, and punishment of dissenters.

Measure Your Team’s Intellectual Diversity

Harvard Business Review

A choir can’t perform well if it’s made up of all sopranos; similarly, on an innovative team, you won’t achieve good results with people whose strengths and styles are all the same. An innovative team needs to be both playful and pro­fessional, and it needs to be able to plan out a project carefully while also accepting that projects don’t al­ways go as planned—and being willing to improvise when unexpected events arise.

Create Better, Collaborate Better

Harvard Business Review

In business, this is a sure recipe for groupthink. The box of "Chief Innovation Officer" or any other title. Dan Burrier is Chief Innovation Officer at Ogilvy & Mather, North America, but his business card is blank, except for an email address: Collaboration Creativity InnovationThis post is part of the HBR Insight Center Making Collaboration Work.

Amazon Is Right That Disagreement Results in Better Decisions

Harvard Business Review

In short, Amazon discourages conformity and combats groupthink. Conflict and innovation are thought to march hand-in-hand. To the extent that a company takes self-conscious steps to elicit creativity and honest critique from its own people, it is likely to avoid groupthink and to do far better than it otherwise would – and to make more effective decisions than companies that overvalue harmony and do not focus explicitly on how to produce informed judgments.

The Surprising Benefits of Solitude

Harvard Business Review

These formed after reading a great article by Susan Cain in the New York Times called "The Rise of the New Groupthink." There is one large exception to this rule: groups that come together digitally, rather than in the real world, are often very creative, innovative, and productive. Some recent reading crystallized two hypotheses that have been rattling around in my head for a while now: Digital crowds work better than real-world ones For some things, nothing works except solitude.

Personality Tests Can Help Balance a Team

Harvard Business Review

Others, perhaps driven by their own narcissism, pick people who are like them, which kills diversity and breeds groupthink. In our consulting work, we use a personality test to see whether teams have people playing five key roles necessary for performance: results, relationships, process, innovation, and pragmatism. It’s just plain hard to get people working together the way you’d like.

Creativity Lessons from Charles Dickens and Steve Jobs

Harvard Business Review

Private R&D spending has also tailed off since then, when it brought us breakthrough innovations like laser printing, the Ethernet, the graphical user interface, and the mouse. And that's because some of the best paths to encourage innovation are surprisingly simple. But each of us as individuals can also work to optimize our innovative capacities. But innovation needs to be informed and sometimes provoked by the unpredictable hurly-burly of messy, surprising real life.

The CIO as Corporate Psychic

Harvard Business Review

But overreliance on these firms leads to industry groupthink, and complexity-theory research tells us that it's impossible to predict the behavior of a large system (such as the world of tech innovation) beyond the next few moves. Events such as TED and the BIL conference where innovators, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs congregate can be mind-bending.

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Can Bigger Be Faster?

Harvard Business Review

Large cities have higher income, lower crime rates, and more rapid innovation. Yet inside this massive structure is a surprising amount of innovation in the area of organizational design and decision-making. Conformity creates groupthink, stifling innovation and organizational resilience. In nature, there's a tradeoff between size and speed. Whales are slow. Birds are fast. But organizations today need to be big and fast. Is it possible?

Three Times You Have to Speak Up

Harvard Business Review

It happened during the Kennedy Administration's Bay of Pigs fiasco when " groupthink " carried the day. Minority viewpoints have been proven to aid the quality of decision making in juries, by teams, and for the purpose of innovation. Nilofer Merchant is a corporate advisor and speaker on innovation methods. It was said of Abbot Agatho that for three years he carried a stone in his mouth until he learned to be silent.

What Great Social Media Campaigns Get Right

Harvard Business Review

Now consider the Business Innovation Factory (BIF) , an organization that seeks to bring cutting edge innovation techniques to social initiatives, many of which are similar to those Pepsi Refresh sought to promote. Its founder, Saul Kaplan , is a self-professed innovation junkie. It is now a cult favorite in the innovation world. While such orthodoxy can instill discipline and obedience, it squelches innovation and the ability to adapt to changing contexts.


How to Choose the Right Protégé

Harvard Business Review

In earlier research , the Center for Talent Innovation explored the importance of finding the right sponsor. Just as companies need a diverse workforce to remain attuned to the needs of new and emerging markets and to develop innovative products that compete in a rapidly evolving marketplace, sponsors need protégés who mirror those markets.