Rock The Boat
Groupthink. The Abilene Paradox. Yes-Men.
These are all things we’ve heard about for years. Avoiding groupthink is one of the constant battles in start-ups and Fortune 500 companies alike. So what can I share that is new on the topic?
Nothing really. The point is not always about sharing something new but rather practicing.
If you’re a college football player and it’s your Senior year, do you not show up to practice every day to review and practice the fundamentals of the game? You already know the fundamentals of the game. So why do you show up to practice?
If you play golf and all of the sudden you can’t get out of the tee box, what do you do? You stop, clear your mind and run through your setup step by step in your head slowly; methodically.
In both instances, you’re practicing the basics because practice and consistency is what is required to be successful at the highest levels.
So what’s the tidbit already Ernie? Here it is and it’s not even mine!
Matters of great concern should be treated lightly.Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
One of my favorite sayings and one that I personally practice every day.
The point of this saying is that spending time contemplating future possibilities before they present themselves prepares us to make decisions effectively and efficiently. When something important arises, often, time is in short supply and rapid decision making is required to avoid catastrophe.
Preparing in this manner requires that you reflect introspectively but also that you seek outside counsel. If you’re getting nothing but supportive input (i.e. a bunch of Yes-Men) then seek out others. Conversely, if you can’t find anyone that disagrees with you, then Rock The Boat.
Said another way, play Devil’s Advocate and argue the counter-point with all your Yes-Men. If they are truly Yes-Men then they will flip-flop on their advice…but…if they do not, then it is likely that your original line of thinking is sound. Regardless of which way it goes, you’ve learned something.