In Defense of Troublemakers: The Power of Dissent in Life and Business

May 14, 2018 - Comment

An eminent psychologist explains why dissent should be cherished, not fearedWe’ve decided by consensus that consensus is good. In In Defense of Troublemakers, psychologist Charlan Nemeth argues that this principle is completely wrong: left unchallenged, the majority opinion is often biased, unoriginal, or false. It leads planes and markets to crash, causes juries to convict

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An eminent psychologist explains why dissent should be cherished, not feared
We've decided by consensus that consensus is good. In In Defense of Troublemakers, psychologist Charlan Nemeth argues that this principle is completely wrong: left unchallenged, the majority opinion is often biased, unoriginal, or false. It leads planes and markets to crash, causes juries to convict innocent people, and can quite literally make people think blue is green. In the name of comity, we embrace stupidity. We can make better decisions by embracing dissent. Dissent forces us to question the status quo, consider more information, and engage in creative decision-making.
From Twelve Angry Men to Edward Snowden, lone objectors who make people question their assumptions bring groups far closer to truth–regardless of whether they are right or wrong. Essential reading for anyone who works in groups, In Defense of Troublemakers will radically change the way you think, listen, and make decisions.

Comments

Jay says:

I learned of this book through the excellent KERA Think Podcast I learned of this book through the excellent KERA Think Podcast, “The Dangers Of Consensus And Compromise” from March 22, 2018. You may wish to listen to this interview first if interested.This is a fairly short book on the subject matter, and I think it could have done with much more exploration. The book is almost entirely non-technical even though the entire premise is the backing of behavioral research data supporting it’s cause.Unfortunately I found some of…

R. Fisher says:

I’d recommend this book for anyone in a corporate environment or … Forty years in industry have provided me ample proof of the sub-optimal outcomes that arise from an urge for tribal conformity. This book hits the mark and should help any reader recognize when he/she finds himself in the midst of a herd. I’d recommend this book for anyone in a corporate environment or organization larger than about ten people.

Eileen Hitch says:

Great overview of a cutting-edge topic Great synopsis of the topic, and very relevant to education my company is developing. Thought-provoking, groundbreaking research in a readable and relatable format. I highly recommend for leaders.

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