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Encouraging constructive dissent

2013/06/16

In his “The five most important questions you will ever ask about your organization” Peter Drucker writes about how the best decision makers he has observed never make a decision if a quick consensus (among staff) is achieved. He argues that dissent drives a good decision:

Nonprofit institutions need a healthy atmosphere for dissent if they wish to foster innovation and commitment. Nonprofits must encourage honest and constructive disagreement precisely because everybody is committed to a good cause: Your opinion versus mine can easily be taken as your good faith versus mine. Without proper encouragement, people have a tendency to avoid such difficult, but vital, discussions or turn them into underground feuds.

And thus we observe one of the major deficiencies of most governments where no one dares oppose the Leader. And Leaders who are more in need of followers than opposers, do not foster dissent. This results in a convergence where the inner circle does not dare to disagree giving the Leader a distroted view of reality. Because as a basic law of Systemantics says:

Information rarely leaks up.

Always have someone question your decisions. Engineering or otherwise.

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