Groupthink is one of the most pernicious byproducts of modern corporate culture, and is likewise one of the most limiting and damaging. Not only is there something horribly wicked about expecting or demanding everyone in a group to think alike, but such an attitude also drastically limits your company’s vision and capacity for innovation, imagination, and, ultimately, success. What’s more, individualism and creativity aren’t just a more ideologically attractive alternative – they’re vital for the success of your company. That said, a collaboration-friendly corporate culture doesn’t just come out of thin air, which is why you’ll want to heed these pieces of advice in creating a creativity-oriented company.
One of the most essential pieces of advice anyone can heed in any field is to listen to others with an open mind. Other people can and will see things from a different perspective than yourself, and that’s a good thing. Multiple perspectives on a project or problem can increase the chances of finding the best solution possible. When someone presents an opinion, listen to them and actively engage with their ideas.
Don’t Snap Back at Feedback
All of that means that you can’t and shouldn’t snap at those offering critical feedback. One of the worst things you can do in terms of bleeding corporate culture is snap at those who disagree with you. Not only will that silence dissent and breed resentment, but it will also create that dreaded groupthink. Your employees (if they stick around) won’t learn to value thinking creatively or questioning mistakes, which is a massive mistake in itself.
Ask the Right Questions
All of this depends on people knowing how to ask the right questions in the first place. Questions should be phrased in a positive manner, and with the goal of being constructive. You can help by starting meetings yourself with your own set of thought-sparking questions.
- What are other perspectives on a given situation?
- What are the pros and cons of a given plan?
- What’s already working well, what isn’t, and what can you do better?
These thought-provoking questions can start meetings off positively, pointing your team in the right direction – and away from groupthink.