20 January 2009

Group think and other collective failures

The Utne Reader has two interesting articles looking at problems with groupwork.  One looks at how groups that get along well are susceptible to the problem called groupthink.
Groupthink—the go along to get along mentality that results in accelerated, false consensus—was vexing collective endeavors long before psychologist Irving Janis popularized the phenomenon in 1972. A sure sign of groupthink is team members getting along too well. Those who might dissent stifle themselves: No one wants to rock the boat, irritate superiors, or lengthen a meeting by disagreeing with the consensus. But a project can be doomed if no one stops to wonder “What if we’re wrong?”
The other makes suggestions about how to lead your group through tough times.  Great reading as you start Design Week.

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