Begin by ignoring the principles of good decision-making and problem-solving. This is easiest if you don’t bother to learn what they are.
Announce at the beginning of every meeting the course of action you’ve already decided upon. This way, your group needn’t bother themselves with anything other than rubber-stamping your decisions.
Make it clear that you are not interested in anyone questioning anything and that disagreement and pushback have no place in your organization.
Use words like “loyalty” and “commitment” to get across the message that you value conformity above all else.
Limit discussion to a few carefully chosen alternative courses of action. When alternatives are presented, ignore the ones you don’t like.
Make absolutely certain you:
- Ensure your group sees the world through a biased, narrow lens. Don’t seek external opinions, because outsiders are troublemakers.
- Cherry-pick information that suits your expectations. Choose only information that supports your position and ignore or discredit the rest. The “data-approved mantle of legitimacy” will convince your group they’ve made the right decisions.
- Rush to premature conclusions. Waste no time identifying and examining alternatives. Value hurrying to endorse pre-defined “answers” rather than asking questions.
- Remind them of the Japanese proverb about the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.
This is defined as a pattern of thought characterized by self-deception and forced manufacture of conformity. Pressuring groups to agree guarantees they will fail to think critically about issues, situations, and decisions.
Groupthink occurs when the desire for consensus overrides the commitment to present alternatives, critique positions, and express unpopular opinions. In a groupthink situation, individuals refrain from doubting or disagreeing with the artificially manufactured consensus. These group pressures lead to carelessness and irrational thinking because groupthink values conformity above all else.
You will still have one problem, though. Your best people will see through this and either complain outside your meetings or look for work elsewhere.
Today’s Big Question:
How many people who need to read this do you have the courage to forward it to?