9 important ways to Combat Groupthink in an organisation:
It is indeed dreadful to think that a group of non-so-ordinary individuals taking vital decisions affecting other lives can become victims of groupthink. Doing away with such high-power decision making committees is not the answer to this. What is required is a series of systematic measures as given below:
1. The Chairperson of the committee should assign the role of critical evaluator to each member, encouraging the group to raise objections, and doubts.
2. The Chairperson should be impartial in his evaluations of suggestions or objections of the committee member.
3. The Chairperson should refrain from stating his own preferences and expectations in the beginning of the meeting.
4. The Chairperson should restrict his talk to unbiased statements about the problems and the limitations of available resources.
5. The organisation should establish two or three independent committees to work on the same problems, each carrying out its deliberations under a different Chairperson. If these groups disagree, a discussion of their differences is likely to raise important issues. However, if the groups agree, one can assume that their conclusions are not the result of group think.
6. One or more competent employees who are not members of the committee should be requested to sit in each meeting, and challenge views of core members.
7. In every meeting, at least one committee member should be assigned the role of' devil's advocate' - one who can function like a good lawyer in challenging the validity of the majority view point.
8. Whenever the issue is of utmost importance with wider ramifications, considerable time should be spent for surveying all warning signals from the opponents and for constructing alternative scenarios.
9. After reaching a consensus on a particular issue in the preliminary meeting the committee should hold a second meeting in which all the members should express their residual doubts and re-examine the entire issue.
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