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Altfeeders: Clash Your Mandibles Over My “GROUPTHINK” Ruminations

Reading Time approx: 4 minutes

A major problem in corporations and societies is the phenomenon of “GROUPTHINK”.

“According to Irving L. Janis, groupthink is “a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members’ strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.” [1]

Further, in looking at the deeper phenomenon of groupthink’s negative impact on organizational decision-making:

“In the aftermath of corporate and public-sector disasters, it often emerges that participants fell prey to a collective form of willful blindness and overconfidence:  mounting warning signals were systemically cast aside or met with denial, evidence avoided or selectively reinterpreted, dissenters shunned.” [2]

I believe that, throughout my life, I have been aware of others’ proclivities to engage in rampant groupthink. Though I understand that I can be susceptible to this phenomenon, I think that I have been fortunate, overall, to have had an individualistic approach to living my life, one that has mostly shielded me from this particular phenomenon.

Political activities, by their nature, embrace and promote some levels of “groupthink” winning-or-losing attitudes. I am not entirely certain if my changing perspectives are due to age and maturity, or actual radical transformation of the political climate in the United States. Regardless, there appears to be a vastly more volatile “groupthink” set of political operations that are slowly but surely enveloping the United States in an ever more alienative duality of radical left vs. radical right activists.

The main problem with this type of radical shunning of “the other side’s” legitimacy and arguments is that the rationality of running the business of the United States and, concurrently, the business of the world, can be severely compromised.  Partisan political machinations can grind governments’ operations to a halt, as this country has seen in both the first, and, now, the second impeachment of now-Ex President Donald Trump. Millions and millions of dollars, and thousands of hours of potentially productive legislative activities have been foregone, now, in vain efforts to “punish” individuals with whom the “in group” in power not only disagrees but loathes.

This is irrational and foolish, and yet the highest-level members of our National government are blithely reveling in their own august capacities to wield useless political instruments. The waste factor, because of this phenomenon, is literally off the charts.

Harkening back to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, rank partisanship has now, for decades, blinded politicians to better, higher standards of ethical and productive conduct.  Though some fault can lie on the backs of the Executives of the United States, it seems that far more fault rests with legislative bodies that engage in this somewhat infamous phenomenon of “groupthink”.

A Forbes online magazine article proposes various solutions to various aspects of the groupthink problem.  It can be read, here: [3]

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2016/11/04/10-effect-of-groupthink-and-how-to-avoid-them/?sh=6b8285834cef

Roughly, its points are as follows:

  1. Establish clear decision-making processes Be open-minded   3. Appreciate the power of questions   4.  Gain and respect diverse opinions  5.  Allow employees the freedom to air objections and doubts without fear of reprisal   6. Be open and adaptable to change   7. Construct cross-functional, cross-vertical “innovation” teams.  8. Practice diversity of thought and perspective   9. “Brainwrite”, i.e., allow all ideas to be heard and considered.  10. Spend more time in the question-asking phase, and not in the decision-making phase.

These points all make good, common sense, and can certainly be used to assist in solving both corporate operations problems and the financial and political operations of governmental legislative bodies.

However, a larger solution needs implementing in the entire world. I opine that education, in its most basic and fundamental forms, must be the ultimate goal that leaders throughout the world must emphasize and implement.

Malala Yousafzai is the young Pakistani woman, a young girl when she was attacked by the Taliban for espousing education for females in Pakistan. In 2014, she was the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Her experience was commemorated, during a speech on education that was given by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in a 2013 speech that was given at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Education Summit:

“And, when the Taliban came for her and her classmates, she said, and I quote: “We realized the importance of pens and books, when we saw the guns.”

Malala was speaking on her 16th birthday—a day the extremists tried to stop her from ever reaching. She urged the world community to “wage a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism.”

 

“Education,” she said, “is the only solution.”

 

Secretary Duncan went on to say: “This solution has never mattered more than it does today. Across the globe, nations, multilateral organizations, NGOs and other partners are working to realize education’s full power to unlock human potential, and raise global standards of living.”

The entire speech can be found, here [4]:

https://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/education-only-solution

Malala Yousafzai’s Wikipedia page can be found, here [5]:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malala_Yousafzai

In short, I completely agree, 100%, with ex-U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Malala Yousafzia.  Education, first and last, is the solution for the problems of the world.

References:

[1] Griffin, R. (2020). Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations (13E ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

[2] Benabou, Roland (April 2013)  Groupthink:  Collective Delusions in Organizations and Markets  The Review of Economic Studies Vol. 80, No. 2 (283), pp. 429-462.  Retrieved from JSTOR

[3]  Forbes Coaches Council. (11-04-2016).  www.forbes.com , Retrieved from:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2016/11/04/10-effect-of-groupthink-and-how-to-avoid-them/?sh=6b8285834cef

[4]  U.S. Department of Education.  (AUGUST 6, 2013).  www.ed.gov   Retrieved from:

https://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/education-only-solution

[5]  Wikipedia.  (last edited on 3 February 2021), www.wikipedia.com ,   Retrieved from:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malala_Yousafzai

 

BOOYAH..!!

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Written by Cipher-This

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Craig

Your article works on the assumption that the ‘in-group’ loathes the ‘out-group’ in reality. However, it in entirely possible that this is nothing more than a public face front designed to keep the population divided and, thus, maintain the power structures.
Yes, the media show the legislative feuding, but the people shown are simply the very small number of public faces of a significantly larger, unseen body that continues to get on running the country.
Yes, millions of dollars are spent in these endeavors; but if they maintain the government (not Party – that is the distraction)/People power dynamics then, from the government’s perspective, that money is not wasted.

lastdance

Good article as always George. Those link are f-cked up though.

TriggerWarning on Altfeed. Nice!

IT’S A BADGE OF HONOR TO BELIEVE IN THEIR BULLSHIT…RIGHT?