On Groupthink

Adrian Woolridge wrote this in Bloomberg, on Valentine’s Day in 2022 no less. The title of the article was “Four Secrets on How to be a Bad Boss”:

The most common form of untethering, though, is not megalomania but ideological groupthink. Today’s corporate captains, at least in the West, all sing from the same hymn sheet about sustainability, diversity, equity, globalization and social responsibility, as if all these things are not only obvious goods, but also cost-free goods (“win-wins” as the cliché has it). Yet these bland phrases jar with the world that an enormous number of people inhabit, one in which energy prices are surging, nationalism is strengthening, and ethnic groups are fighting over the fruits of a stagnant economy.

Woolridge is correct. The goods he mentions are obvious. But what happens in practice is that people replace action toward those goals, toward those goods, with saying the correct words. Both things are wrong: the lack of action, and the saying. In my eyes, you don’t get points for saying stuff, especially when it’s popular and easy to say it.

I’ve never loved insipid phrases about courage. Generally, though not universally, I’ve found the more that postings proliferate about courage, the less courage actually exists.

And why does courage matter? Because it takes courage to chart a course not everyone else is taking. It takes courage to speak up for a minority viewpoint. Daily and relentlessly, that is the type of courage I am looking for at One Day In July. That type of courage washes groupthink away.

~Dan Cunningham, Founder

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