Monday, July 5, 2010

Bias : No Parks in the World have Statues to Committees

I am reading a book on how Hedge Funds work (or don't) and it discusses as part of making investment decisions are made about running committees and comes up with these manifestations of the groupthink disease.

  • Collective rationalisations of shared illusions generally believed.
  • Crude, negative stereotypes of out-groups
  • Shared belief in the group's inherent morality
  • Illusions of invulnerability to a risky course of action
  • Illusions of unanimity and suppression of personal doubts
  • Subtle group pressure on dissenters
  • Self-appointed mindguards who protect the group from thoughts that might damage their confidence
  • Docility fostered by charismatic, previously successful leadership
  • Free-floating conversations in group meetings
  • Lack of standard risk analysis using methodical procedures
The only defence is awareness.

I am on a very multi-national conf call while writing this and making a real pain in the arse of myself by questioning some assumptions which are making some people quite uncomfortable. All I am doing is suggesting that a plan might fail :-) The more open I am about the ways it might fail the less chance it has of failing.

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