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iTeam: Putting the “I” Back into Team by William E. Perry

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10. Challenge 8: Avoiding Groupthink

A song in the musical South Pacific tells us that when our behavior and attitudes are marked by a hatred, it is because “people have been carefully taught.” For example, a sports team may harbor an inherited bitterness toward its primary rival, but there is real danger in such preprogrammed behavior. That danger is that the team may focus on developing plays and strategies to beat the one rival, but will find itself ineffective against many of the other teams it will play during a season. Conformity to group values and the practice of reverting to a common mentality without thinking through its consequences and implications is called “groupthink.”

Groupthink prevails in many business teams. The inclination ...

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