There were companies I have worked for in the past who developed a passive aggressive approach to solving problems. The underlining result transformed the culture into a “groupthink”. If you have never heard of this before, let me introduce you to it, so you can learn how to avoid this major problem in corporations. A ‘groupthink‘ is the practice of making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity and individual responsibility.
Can you imagine? You are in a room of your peers during a meeting. The boss turns to the group and suggests a solution. Instead of anyone saying, “I think we may want to consider something else.”, “What if we looked at this in a different perspective?”, what happens in a groupthink is, everyone just openly agrees. Internally, the conflicts within each individual starts to arise or has already risen. Each person has an idea they really want to bring to the table, but for fear of retribution in some form or fashion, they all remain silent. Perhaps their ideas have been disregarded in the past. Perhaps they know the outcome of suggesting and the responsibility of carrying the suggestion. No matter what the reason, their voice is not heard. The animosity of collective non-results begins to pile up. Who is at fault? Are the employees at fault for not speaking up? Is the groupthink at fault for allowing the responsibility to fall on the idea maker, which by the way, is not always the boss? Also, if an idea is presented without opposition, who will support the idea?
The dangers of groupthinks resonate throughout the culture of a company. You have to change the culture by instituting a feedback collective. You have to be open to opposition in order to build a stronger company. Healthy opposition brings about creativity, innovation, and changes for the better. Opposition seems like a strong word. Let’s go back and re-read everything by replacing opposition with the word ‘feedback‘. A groupthink will use the verbiage ‘opposition’ to the different suggested result. A healthy culture will use the term ‘feedback’ for the different suggested result. Therefore, feedback gives everyone an opportunity to voice their opinion on a subject. Being open and collectively pushing the narrative of feedback will change a culture of a business. Allowing people to have a voice and collectively being involved, will drive a healthier business culture. Then, you can flip the script. You can understand the value of opposition, and turn it into the value of feedback.