How could a team of experienced directors make such a mistake?
This question, alas too frequent, reveals the mental patterns of the “administered” who ask it. The latter seem to be taken aback by the fact that this elite which governs us – whether in civil or professional life – can also commit great blunders. The surprise of these annoyed observers is probably due to an introjection Which should be revisited. Why, indeed, would the decisions of our executive committees be infallible? What locks the world of the “administered” in this belief that the decision-makers’ committees would be immune to blunders as gross as the management of Renault’s “espionage affair” in 2010, Of our government at the beginning of the Arab spring in 2011 or its position during the genocide in Rwanda in 1994? …
These damning examples must be placed on the record of our critical analysis and lead us to the following observation: whatever the levels of their intellectual quotients (IQs), our management teams are not infallible! Consider the probable causes of such accidents in the decision.
A blunder is a gross error due to ignorance, negligence, or blindness, and may lead to unfortunate consequences. Leadership committees are well informed, especially at high level. On the other hand, they are, by definition, endowed with uncommon reasoning abilities. It is not, therefore, their rational competence that leads them to such errors. As in many cases of pilot accidents, it is rather the weakness of the relational skills that exposes our committees of directions to the blunder. Research from the University of Chicago allows us to better understand the influence of human behavior on the quality of team decision. These studies show that in 80% of cases, team decisions are more effective than most individual decisions of their members. In the remaining 20%, the team produces decisions of a lower quality than those of most of its members. These “team accidents” are conducive to the proliferation of blunders. Let’s look at risk behaviors.
Accidents in teams (excerpt from “Manager of elite”)
Too self-confident members too often become arrogant, even aggressive. This attitude discourages the expression of the ideas of the less assertive members. Repeated attempts of “low hand on the team” seriously undermine the quality of the solutions developed by the teams that possess such members in the “overdeveloped thorax”. It is well understood that what motivates these members is less the quality of the solution than the scope of their control over the group. When several members (with overdeveloped masculinity) engage in this type of behavior in the group, they interact aggressively and try to overcome by intimidation, personal attacks, mockery, etc. These self-confident and dominating members tend to underestimate the difficulties of the problems to be solved, To minimize the risks associated with their own strategies to solve problems and to ignore the views of less assertive members. Whatever the quality of the solutions developed by this type of group, they only lead to a low level of adhesion and the implementation of the solutions remains painful and of limited duration.
Competition behaviors are quite similar to power behaviors, but the competitor does not try to control the team. The competitor loves to be in groups because he needs others to demonstrate his alleged superiority and thus satisfy his own narcissistic needs. Groups with competition between members are more like a competition than a collaborative activity. Competitive members are less interested in the quality of the solutions than their willingness to impress others and sell their ideas to them. Observing a competitor group is like watching a battlefield. In the end, there are only winners and defeats. The other members of the group are sometimes trapped in this type of situation and end up developing themselves, In a defense reaction, compete behaviors, even if they are not naturally inclined to this type of behavior. Again, an excess of masculinity often explains this type of behavior, which is particularly evident in groups where masculinity or animus predominate.
The motivation of excessively perfectionist groups is to provide the best possible solution and that it be error-free. To satisfy this motivation, members do not hesitate to invest disproportionate efforts to solve minor problems and are never entirely satisfied with the results they achieve. This expensive predisposition to focus on details often leads these groups to serious difficulties in managing time. The mastery of time is also one of the main pitfalls of the perfectionist who most often confuses precision and excellence. Perfectionists have an irrepressible need to prove themselves on a permanent basis. They imagine that others give as little credit to their skills as they do to themselves. Their energy is thus essentially devoted to consolidating the certainty of their competence. A problem as such, more than a problem to solve, is therefore an indispensable opportunity, a vital means for perfectionists to satisfy their anguish of incompetence. Consensus is very difficult to access in these groups. Their interminable exchanges around minor divergences of views considerably complicate any form of solution that is capable of providing a satisfactory answer to the problem to be solved. Consensus is very difficult to access in these groups. Their interminable exchanges around minor divergences of views considerably complicate any form of solution that is capable of providing a satisfactory answer to the problem to be solved. Consensus is very difficult to access in these groups. Their interminable exchanges around minor divergences of views considerably complicate any form of solution that is capable of providing a satisfactory answer to the problem to be solved.
The conformists calm their anguish of freedom (and corresponding responsibilities to assume) by proposing conservative ideas. They tend to consider any innovative idea or difference as a risk to which it is not worth exposing itself. Thus any original idea will automatically be disqualified and judged too bold or too innovative or too different.
It is the anguish of solitude that the “complacent” members seek to appease in this type of group. The members appear abnormally accommodating, the working climate seems pleasant, no shadow seems to want to tarnish the picture … The excess of kindness, of respect and politeness, combined with a will not to address subjects of disagreement Subjects that are angry) and a tendency to accept, doubt the ability of such groups to explore the field of alternative solutions. It does not matter the solution chosen provided one has the intoxication of the acceptance of the others! The working strategy of such groups often begins with the identification of points of agreement. There is no debate around these points. If there is agreement, or rather if there is no disagreement, it is a decision. This strategy leads the members of these groups to forge consensus by seeking alliances whose purpose is to threaten and influence other “blessed-yes-yes” members with different opinions. Points of divergence are often under-optimized by members who do not want to be exposed to the risk of exclusion. The lack of interest in a new proposal, the ironic accentuation of a personality trait, the joke around differences (gender, race, taste, clothing, etc.) are different tactics used in Such groups. The aim is to create a threat of exclusion on members who appear tempted to defend their integrity or freedom of thought.
No one seems motivated by the will to do things right or do the right things. The members of the group do not seem to be concerned about the rationality of the propositions or the ideas put forward and it is possible to transform assumptions into proven facts according to the needs of “demonstration” without embarrassment. There is little structure in the work done by these groups. There is no specific objective either. The confusion between objective, task, strategy is total. The work is disorderly, small subgroups discuss together different points, little information sharing. Blurring, confusion, confusion and disorganization seem to characterize the way in which this type of group operates.
In summary, behaviors that penalize the effectiveness of the management teams are backed by excessive security needs and / or a low level of personal motivation with regard to the result to be achieved.
A good way to reduce security needs is to provide committees with enough time for listening, debate and support among participants. These relational skills are necessary for good decision making. This “start-up” time is essential to mobilize the constructive energy of participants. Looking to reduce it is like trying to run a 100 m without warming up. We expose ourselves to some or all of the traps described above.
The answer is to the extent of the level of acceptance. After collective decision-making, anonymous measure of the motivation of the participants for the implementation of the decisions makes it possible to evaluate their level of acceptance. In addition to providing information on their consistency with the values of the participants, this measure also gives an idea of the probability that the decisions thus tested are actually implemented.
An effective decision optimizes the expected results, that is to say:
These points are summarized by the equation of OSBORNE : E = Q x A.
The efficiency (E) of a decision is the combined result of its Quality (Q) and level (A) of Acceptance (Accession) that it arouses.
It should be noted that a management team that has developed good interpersonal skills will more easily be able to overcome the pitfalls caused by poor design or failing project planning. Because of the synergy that it is capable of developing, this type of team is less exposed to blunders because it produces decisions that are more effective than those that would produce the most expert of its members.
On the other hand, a management team that relies essentially on logical reasoning and IQ can not rely on these rational skills to deal with a problem of relations between its members. Indeed, the logic of an overly rational manager (too many IQs and not enough EQs) alone will not be of much help to give more consistency, for example, to the devastating malleability of a Group of collaborators sometimes a little too “plastic”.
The steering committees, by the IQ of their members, are generally composed in such a way as to maximize the quality of the decisions. This provision, although necessary, does not adequately protect them from the risk of blunders. It is in the interest of the various management bodies that they wish to improve their efficiency to measure – anonymously – and to exploit the level of Acceptance of decisions. But do you know many chairmen who are concerned about the level of motivation of committee members before validating their decisions?
The process by which an opinion, attitude, or instruction is automatically and quickly regarded as true … .the way children (under 7) “swallow” everything their parents tell them.
In a minority of cases, the team decision is even better than that which would have taken, alone, the most expert of its members.
Male part of a woman’s psyche
For example, through anonymous questionnaires
Richard OSBORNE is “Professor for the Practice of Marketing and Policy Studies” at Case Western Reserve University