What’s your Passion #1 – Group Think

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Recently one of my colleagues (thanks Terry Oswald) shared a post by Michael de la Maza that summarized an article from the Economist titled: “McKinsey’s partners suffer from collective self-delusion” (click here to see my post on Michael’s article). 

We have a saying in Swedish that roughly translates, “even if only half of this is true, bad enough…” This particular quote from Michael’s post really caught my eye:

“McKinsey’s partners suffer from collective self-delusion”

Ah yes, to put it another way, this is nothing other than good, old “group think” that is manifesting. The only way I know of to prevent group think is via Distillation (D2 in the iterative 4D Model):

  • Define (D1) —> Distill (D2) —> Deliver (D3) —> Drive (D4) —> … and then you circle back to Define (D1) and iterate.

In the center of the process above (visualize it in a circle) is Vision.

On Instagram and Facebook I shared the following image:

If the Vision has not been properly Distilled (D2) and agreed to (or this vital step is deliberately skipped), then you will most likely see Confusion, Friction, Underperformance and/or Politics erupt in the organization. 

There is an old Greek proverb that “the fish rots from the head.”

It takes intentional Leadership with a clearly Defined (D1) & Distilled (D2) Vision to prevent group think and unnecessary friction taking hold.

Group think (i.e. “… collective self-delusion”) is an Anti-pattern to Vision, Flow Leadership, Agility and/or any other value worth pursuing. The first step to recovery would be recognizing that the organization has a problem. Flow Leadership is the cure!

If you’d like to see a quick (2 min 46 sec) video on this topic, I have just shared that on YouTube as well.