Escaping Groupthink – Bring In An Outsider

Paul asks about escaping groupthink, and advocates the role of the outsider in bringing a different perspective:

How can you break out of the group-think that affects most large organizations? How can you escape from the corporate frameworks that shape discussions and ideas?

… Often we are so close to our own methods and products that it is difficult for us to see clearly. An outsider can bring a simpler, fresher view. How can you harness the creative input of outsiders to improve your innovation?

My Comments
1. Agreed. A different person – whether from inside the company but outside the group, or from outside the company all together – brings a different set of eyes.

2. An outsider can help with more than just groupthink too. They can bring a different perspective, an alternative way of looking at things, new data points to consider, a different way of prioritizing things, and greater weight for advocating the need of particular projects or actions.

3. I have clients that use my services in this way for their collaboration strategy – a different background, no political investment in the outcome, a willingness to ask the dumb questions, etc. That’s basically what I’m doing tomorrow with my client in Mountain View.

4. There’s a danger here though. If an outsider stays too long, they become an insider. And then you need to start again.

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