Instead of Group-Think, Promote Creative Thinking



Is your business performing as well as it could?

To use a metaphor, you’ll avoid falling into a quagmire of quicksand if you eliminate group-think from your culture.

What you need are the best creative ideas from every teammate. That helps lead to strong performance.

At critical times, group-think leads to devastating results.

Group-think takes place within a committee or other group of people – for conformity to minimize conflict – in reaching decisions.

By avoiding alternative solutions, group-think suppresses dissenting opinions.

Group-think leads to strategies without important evaluation.

Your organization needs original thinking when it faces critical decisions.

Rubber stamping, “yes” people and echo chambers don’t lead to effective innovation and other productive strategies.

Deadlines don’t help either in decision-making.

You can set your company up for success by implementing five strategies:

1. Promote creativity

Not everyone is creative. So you must encourage and develop creativity in your organization.

You don’t always profit from conventional wisdom. With all the disruption in the new economy and marketplace, you need creative, original thinking.

You need devil’s advocacy – people with great ideas who aren’t afraid to speak up. But to get along with the crowd, many people refrain from such risks to their popularity.

Every idea – especially an unconventional one – deserves to be considered. You should inspire your staff to fully participate and reward them for it.

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

-Vince Lombardi

2. Guard against consensus

When unanimity is quickly reached on a problem, you’ve got a big warning sign. Problems warrant reflection and thought.

If your organization votes too quickly to resolve a problem, you often will get a negative result.

3. Value mindfulness

You want everyone to have an antenna – being alert and totally involved in the moment. You want them to listen intently and to think about what to say in a mindful fashion.

You don’t need knee-jerk reactions. You want thoughtful responses.

4. Stage debates

Encourage your associates to be transparent – to openly hash out ideas. Create a balance sheet listing the pros and cons of ideas. Reassure everyone that they will not face negative consequences.

5. Small teams

In smaller groups, people are more inclined to think and speak up. They still might be inclined to group-think. However, if you establish several small groups, you’ll increase your odds for original thinking.

Use these principles to develop a culture of decision-making sans group-think. Your employees will improve their morale and you’ll see it great results in your bottom-line.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related management strategies:

Secrets in Motivating Employees to Offer Profitable Ideas — Savvy employers know how to profit from their human capital. Such knowledge is a powerful weapon for high performance in a competitive marketplace. Furthermore, there’s a correlation among excellent sales, happy customers, and high employee morale. Proverbially speaking, employees are where the tire meets the road.

6 Tips to Get Good Employee Ideas, not Whining — Do you have employees who contribute positive ideas? Or do you have employees who always seem to whine? Aimless complaining is a symptom of problems in teamwork, morale, negativity and/or productivity. Here are six management strategies.

Employees Will Help You in Strategic Planning If You Use 3 Tips — Have you developed your strategy? It’s important to proceed without engaging in self doubt. But you’re concerned about involving your employees? There are three closely related basics in working with your employees to get the job done.

Listening Skills to Improve Your Relationships and Business Performance — What counts in communication? Listening skills for discernment and trust. Discerning people are the most successful and listening skills are important for discernment. That goes for athletes and management, alike.

Trends — Employee Engagement and Business Success — Many companies will be more successful if they update their approaches in human resources. That’s the obvious conclusion from eye-opening information that was revealed in a survey of 40,000 employees at 300 companies. When companies implement outstanding human resources programs, they’re more profitable than their competitors that don’t.

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

-Vince Lombardi


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy franky242 at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.