Stop Solving Problems

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Critical thinking, decision making, and solving problems are among the top desired skills in nearly any role. We want people who can identify problems, evaluate information, and draw conclusions quickly and effectively. Studies show individuals with strong critical thinking skills have higher educational and occupational attainment than those who struggle to think critically. Naturally, with such an emphasis on selecting and developing great thinkers, that should translate into highly successful organizations where problems are effectively identified and addressed. Unfortunately, where we may lack a critical thinking problem, we often find a management problem. In hierarchical organizations and those with poorly distributed … Read More

Leading a Cohesive Team Past Groupthink

So many examples of poor decisions can be traced back to groupthink. From the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the Bay of Pigs and the Challenger disaster—each of those infamous moments in history could have been avoided if special attention was devoted to preventing groupthink. Much of the research on the topic was developed by Irving Janis, who defined groupthink as “…a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members’ striving for unanimity overrides their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.”