From a leadership perspective, the only good thing about group think is that it creates apparent harmony in the workplace since the group all agrees on whatever it is they’re thinking.  But study after study has shown that diversity of though leads to better decisions and healthier firms.

When I was VP of marketing, if my team was falling into that trap, I’d challenge them to come up with at least 5 reasons why what they were proposing was a bad idea.  This would at least make them adjust their original proposal to address these potential weaknesses.

As a coach, I help my clients learn to use open ended questions to break the group out of the herd-like mentality of decision making.  “How can we make it 20 times larger?”  or “What would Amazon.com do?  Google?”  Questions like these help teams to shift their thinking.  I believe it was Einstein who said that the big problems of the world can’t be solved by the same level of thinking that created them!