Monday, November 20, 2017

Protecting Against Group Think in Our Nation's Top Leadership

Air Force Gen. John Hyten stated that he would not follow an illegal order to use nukes. That puts many of us at ease a little, but when conflict arises and retaliation is desired by top leadership and society, it may be difficult sway the tide of pressure. We have seen this occur in situations of high political and personal pressure to act without thinking through the alternatives. There are ways to limit the threats of "group think" when making important decisions. 

Whether you are a business executive running a strategic team that makes important decisions, top brass in the military, or a president of a country it is important to ensure that bias and pressures of thinking don't change the fate of the enterprise. There are a few methods below to help reduce risk by incorporating different types of people and methodologies of coming to a conclusion

1.) Encourage reasonable opinions of descent. 
2.) Ensure one person doesn't have undo power to speak over others or discount their opinion. 
3.) Protect against retaliation or removal from the team for non-conforming opinions. 
4.) Ensure that participants have different types of personalities. 
5.) Ensure that participants have different skills, education and fields. 
6.) Create a charter that protects opinions and investigates alternative options as a standard methodology before implementation. 
7.) Look for divergent thinkers that form opinions based on multiple types of information. 
8.) Question data. Work off of "fact" as much as possible. When facts are not available further investigation and due diligence is needed.
9.) Provide for multiple discussions and delays before implementation.
10.) Seek outside expert opinions.

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