Vistage Research Center

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Peers and The Power of Persuasion

  1. David Belden

    January 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Leo – Insightful comments. This dialogue is being had all over LinkedIn groups trying to determine the best encouragement of collaboration and innovation. Peer groups in all their permutations are the most powerful way forward in any organization.

  2. leobottary

    January 23, 2012 at 12:08 am

    David, thanks for the kind words and for the acknowledgement that the peer advisory group conversation continues to gain steam.

  3. Gini Dietrich

    January 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    It’s interesting because there is a big debate happening right about about Groupthink (I write a blog post about it tomorrow, in fact). How our schools and organizations are now set up for people to work together, without any privacy or alone time to think. Think about the organizations that have tables set up where people work without walls. On one hand, it lends itself greatly to collaboration, but not to having time to sit and think without interruption. This is a pretty big problem for introverts, who need that alone time. The thing that peer groups does really well is they work off the Groupthink ideals, but it’s typically only once or twice a month so business leaders can go back to their offices and have their alone time to think.

  4. leobottary

    January 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Gini, thanks for your comment. I couldn’t agree more. Time to think and reflect is only going to make you more valuable to your group, and what you learn from your group will give you even more to think about – a perfect yin and yang if you will.

  5. Rod Johnson

    January 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Group think is an interesting perspective. In organizations, we might call this alignment. In a meeting we could call it agreement. When the solution was the right answer, we can pat ourselves on the back about how smart and swift we were. We executed the solution with amazing speed. When the wrong solution was picked, it reminds us of the Abilene Paradox.

    From my perspective, the problem with group think is it doesn’t develop critical thinking skills, instead if fosters followership. And that is a real challenge for developing leadership skills and future leaders.

  6. leobottary

    January 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Rod, you raise an interesting point that’s worthy of clarification.  When Gini used the term Groupthink in her comment, it was in reference to the “New Groupthink” as described in an NYT article about creativity in the workplace and the importance of solitude, rather than the textbook, pejorative definition that is often illustrated by the Challenger disaster.  The Abilene Paradox is like Groupthink’s silent cousin.   There’s a big difference between alignment, agreement and Groupthink.  The latter, using the classic definition, is what we want to avoid.

  7. Jim Nowakowski

    January 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    One thing most employees will tell you is there isn’t enough communication in their organization, the management doesn’t keep them informed.  Yet management often believes they are very clear with their message.  Perhaps this is another and more effective way to get to the masses.  Carefully select your messenger and be sure he or she is passionate enough to connect with his or her pears.  Arm them with purpose and clarity, I think it’s worth a try.

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