The Eagle Blog

GroupTHINK or GroupACT?

Wikipedia defines groupthink as “a psychological phenomenon that occurs within groups of people. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints.”

There is a phrase, “two heads are better than one” … the implication being that the more people involved in thinking through a decision the better, which is often the case.  It is not the case however if everyone agrees with “the boss”, or the “loudest person”.

Organizations will always do best if they have people with complementary skills, who are willing to voice their opinions and bring new ideas to the table. 

So … GroupTHINK is something to avoid!!!

Some things to remember:

1.  The groupthink phenomena is not productive when strategising/brain storming or just discussing options.

2.  People proposing their different ideas can be uncomfortable … get over it.

3.  Proposing alternative ideas is welcome … just shooting down other ideas is not very valuable at all.  It is always easier to shoot down ideas, than propose new ones!

4.  It is possible to be forceful, passionate and still be courteous while disagreeing with peers … but its MORE important to get the ideas out!

5.  Once all of the ideas have been tabled, and a decision has been made the team needs to support it 100% … that’s life too!  I call that GroupACT!

6.   A member of a management team that does not support the  group decisions, who does not GroupACT, will quickly become dispensable.

Great management teams will often see some friction while in that decision making process, but they will come together with a unified front outside of the meeting room!

Wikipedia hasn’t discovered GroupACT yet 🙂  I will define it as “a psychological phenomenon that occurs within groups of people. Group members fully support the same strategy and work together towards a common goal, despite any personal differences.”

GroupTHINK … Bad!

GroupACT … Good!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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2 thoughts on “GroupTHINK or GroupACT?

  1. Free wheeling brainstorming sessions are excellent but can sometimes leave those with dissenting opinions hanging. Summarizing the brainstorming discussion, painting a vivid picture of the future and, most importantly, communicating the rationale behind a final decision, facilitates quick and consistent GroupAct.

  2. Some companies are starting to embrace social media for internal uses. It will be interesting to see whether this fosters collaboration or groupthink.

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