Performance Hub: Preventing Group Think

As we’ve all become ‘virtual meeting digital natives’ over the last year, we could be forgiven for assuming our slick, time bound meetings on Zoom or Microsoft Teams prove we’ve nailed collaboration in laptop windows. But what if the truth is more that we’ve simply enabled ‘Group Think’ and are blinded to it’s potential harmful impact?

Group Think (definition)… ‘a psychological phenomenon which occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony and conformity in the group results in irrational or dysfunctional decision making’

On March 13 we were joined by senior leaders from organisations as diverse as Mercedes AMG Petronas, TalkTalk, Pets at Home, Britvic, Jaguar Land Rover and Insights Technology who participated in a virtual workshop exploring the factors that lead to Group Think, and how leaders can prevent or challenge them. This Power 90 Performance Hub was led and facilitated by Leading Edge Performance Advisor, and Head of Regional Academies and Pathway at England Rugby, Don Barrell

We’ve edited a summary of the insights and provocations Don shared into an 11 minute video on our YouTube channel, which doesn’t show the ‘group activities’ and discussions, so may appear a little disjointed without those links!

Some of the top tips from Don.

  • ‘Who speaks most in your team meetings?’
  • ‘Don’t mistake high collaboration for strong culture’
  • ‘Become a better ‘noticer’ in meetings’
  • ‘Think about the question you are asking – does it have purpose?’
  • ‘Know whether you want to expand, or contract perspective’
  • ‘Determine the right timescale. Pressure can lead to creativity. It can also stifle it.’
  • ‘If you know the destination, how much does the journey matter?’
  • ‘Diversity of thinking is your superpower’

Our many thanks not only to Don for hosting and provoking our thinking in this event, but to all the attendees for participating and engaging together.

Our next Performance Hub event will take place in early May, format and content to be determined. If you have a topic you’d value us exploring together, or colleagues or connections you think would value from attending future Performance Hub events, please share with

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Michaela Weller

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