In the end they all paid for it with a long dusty, meaningless trip in the hot Texas sun. My work has received coverage in the , including the Shorty Awards, The Telegraph, Freakonomics, and other fine sites. Harvey about a needless family trip to Abilene offers a compelling lesson for groups: Make sure you've received everyone's honest input on the action you're about to take. They each would have preferred to sit comfortably, but did not admit to it when they still had time to enjoy the afternoon. I just hope your mother wants to go.
Do not mistake silence for consent. The group sits back, perplexed that they together decided to take a trip which none of them wanted. You have a choice- you can go on believing that the reason that your employees fail to argue with you because all of your decisions arise from bulletproof logic and infallible judgment, or you can probe to find out if the Abilene Paradox is thriving under your leadership. It involves a common breakdown of group communication in which each member mistakenly believes that their own preferences are counter to the group's and, therefore, does not raise objections. They arrive back home four hours later, exhausted. Jerry Harvey, master storyteller, shows how we often get to some place, when nobody wanted to go there in the first place.
Give each member a right to speak freely. In 'Groupthink', the members feel they have arrived at a decision which is in the best interest of all, which in reality is not. I just hope your mother wants to go. It is closely related to the concept of Groupthink where everyone puts group concerns above individual concerns. The inference we can draw here is to avoid falling prey to this paradoxical situation and making a trip to Abilene. Harvey illustrates his point with a story about a family who set off on an uncomfortably hot, unsuitable, and ultimately unsatisfying trip to have dinner 53 miles away.
Though it apparently seems similar, this paradox is different from 'Groupthink'. You can always say you did your best to skip the trip to Abilene. I still feel lousy about the whole thing, though. This releases the power to innovate that is central to an Agile philosophy. Nothing against Abilene, but… I have nothing against the good people of Abilene, but how do you prevent an unnecessary visit? When they arrive at the cafeteria, the food is as bad as the drive. Research has shown , but it can be mitigated by even having one person in the group giving a dissenting opinion.
I started the Mind Your Decisions blog in 2007. If we are running a promotion or sale, either your industry discount, a quantity discount, or the sale discount will apply - whichever gives you the best price. If we can see conflict, we can help to resolve or manage it. It was only after returning home to Coleman, Texas—hot, tired, and cranky —that the group discovered that no one had wanted to go. The variety of examples used connects with the audience, and all levels from entry to management can relate to the issues brought up.
Education Departments in corporations, healthcare, or government do not qualify. Abilene paradox refers to a situation wherein no member of a group decides to contest a decision taken by the group, believing it to be the consensus of everyone, when in reality, none of the group members agree with the decision. Groupthink The phenomenon may be a form of. One of my popular posts is. The group sits back, perplexed that they together decided to take a trip which none of them wanted.
This way, they will feel that their voice is heard too. Any insight on why one would act as such? But each made an incorrect assumption about the desires of the others. Contact me by email: Show Your Support! This psychology often leads us to stifle our opinions and accept what everyone wants. My work has received coverage in the , including the Shorty Awards, The Telegraph, Freakonomics, and other fine sites. The Abilene Paradox The Abilene paradox was an idea introduced by management expert. There is still a lot of tension in the organization, and we are still in trouble, but I got a good performance review last time.
More Useful Resources on the Abilene Paradox 's a further look at the paradox from mentalfloss. Volume 1 is rated 4. I started the Mind Your Decisions blog in 2007. I studied Economics and Mathematics at Stanford. Brown, Donna Kimball, Elise Robertson, Leo Marks, Shelley Dowdy, Barbara Kerr Condon, John F. Leaders should be prepared to take the time to communicate the reasons behind decisions. The opportunity costs involved in time extension and employing more human resources were much more than the traveling costs involved, had we hired a private vehicle.
The Abilene Paradox is related to the concept of groupthink in that both theories appear to explain the observed behavior of groups in social contexts. I was with two friends and we were deciding where to eat. Organizational Dynamics 3 1 : 63. Emphasize that you are speaking out of concern for the organization. Reward critical thinking, for example, by appointing a devil's advocate. Corporate politics then lead to backstabbing and blame-shifting among employees under such management, as everyone does what they can to avoid being targeted.