James Stoner conducted a study in 1961 about people in groups. It has been replicated hundreds of times since then. In the 1970s, Yale researcher Irving Janis continued the research.
The term groupthink was born.
How Does Groupthink Happen?
What are the conditions for groupthink?
- A group is comprised of like-minded individuals
- A leader expresses her own thoughts or opinions
- The group ignores dissenting views
What are the Consequences of Groupthink?
These conditions form the basis for horrible decisions. When groupthink takes hold, groups shut down rational dialogue. Status quo is elevated. The group shoots down its path without regard for results or outcomes.
- Read more on average and group mediocrity here.
6 Ways to Avoid Groupthink
Understanding groupthink is the first step. It’s vital for leaders to know what groupthink is and to act in ways that allow a group to flourish. Here are 6 tips:
- Take steps to create trust.
- Ensure the group approaches work with
- Acknowledge biases in the group and in data.
- Measure results using A/B testing.
- Encourage debate and healthy conflict.
- Lead with questions and craft a culture that values ideas.
By the way, the Season 3 Finale and the two following bonus episodes of the Mafost Mashup focused on the problems and solutions of leading groups.