Structured Debates to eliminate Groupthink

In this HBR article , the author talks about using Structured Debates as a technique to eliminate Groupthink.

One strategy that can significantly help teams avoid the dangers of Groupthink and successfully respond to emerging threats and opportunities is to create structured debates. This is done by randomly assigning different team members to argue opposing points of view. Structured debates can provide an opportunity to rigorously discuss and dispute interpretations of current trends, as well as future predictions, in a kind of organizational “safe mode” that enables teams to explore external risks without putting individual members of the team at internal risk.

Randomly assign different team members to argue opposing points of view. Then, at a team meeting , set up a debate with scenarios such as: “Our organization’s mobile app will be obsolete within two years. Here’s what will replace it, and here’s what we need to do now to survive and thrive.” Ask half the team to argue why the current mobile app is sufficient, and the other half to argue how and why the mobile app needs to be changed. Debates like this can help overcome people’s reluctance to ask and answer tough questions about how the world has changed or is changing, and how the organization needs to evolve accordingly. src HBR


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