Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.
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When you have a tough business problem to solve, you probably bring it to a group. But there are risks to asking a team to collectively make decisions — namely, groupthink. Fortunately, there are behavioral science-based tactics that can help overcome the downsides.
o First, keep the group as small as possible. Having more voices in the room increases the likelihood that you’ll default to decisions that enforce the status quo.
o Next, make sure your group is diverse — in every sense of the word — in order to reduce bias. Try appointing a “devil’s advocate,” a person whose job is to test consensus.
o Watch out for blind trust in experts: While they can help you become more informed, making them part of your decision-making can sway your team’s judgments. So you might invite them to provide their opinion on a clearly defined topic, but position them as informed outsiders.
And finally, make sure that the group shares collective responsibility. Everyone should feel accountable for the decision and its outcomes.