Tad Cadsby recently published an article for the Harvard Business Review Blog entitled “The Enemy of Productive Conversations.” You can read this article here.
For a quick recap, here is my digest of the article I highly encourage you to read the full article which explains these concepts in greater detail.
- In decision making, groups do better than individuals.
- Groups can be hindered in decision making by path dependencies – a tendency toward a constrained process for making decision, which can help the group make a decision quickly but limits the groups options and thus its creativity.
- “Leaders have to push a group’s thinking beyond the narrow paths” that constrain creativity in conversation and decision making.
- Leaders should avoid asserting an opinion early on in the conversation.
- Strong counter positions should be discussed and challenged, but not tabled too early in the conversation.
- Groups should actively challenge and debate the ideas of team members – this generates more ideas.
- Leaders must help the group follow a “structured process of deliberation” where the most strongly argued opinions outweigh or silence other ideas. This helps to avoid groupthink.
- Leaders should encourage “constructive dissent, independent thinking, and team collaboration.
In your next team discussion try to apply some of these ideas. Let me know through your comments how these ideas help you or other ideas you have for fostering creative conversations on your team.