The antidotes to groupthink …, I have found, are: one, leaders who are willing to question their own assumptions and surround themselves with strong critical thinkers who are willing to do the same, and, two, leaders who also have the willingness to seek out and listen carefully for the underlying interests (or even the kernel of a good idea) in the voices of the people initially perceived or expected to be on “the other side.” That mysterious blend of arrogance and humility is hard to find.
head of strategy for former
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg,
and former elected head of
Portland's regonal government, Metro.
A great quote. But it suggests only “leaders” have a role. Shouldn’t the technical community and professional associations have a role?
Perhaps I have rose-colored-backwards-facing glasses, but when I got into my career I was impressed by the professional ethic of transportation professionals I worked with. In my mind there seemed to be a cultural bias towards skepticism and scientific method then, which today seems to have been replaced by a culture that cleaves to the consensus of political insiders. I’d like to see a recommitment within professional communities to finding the truth.