Monday, July 25, 2011

Nurture Dissent

In ancient Mesopotamian judicial systems, it was against the law to convict a suspect of a crime without a dissenting judge or juror.  In other words, the system recognized the imperfection of human judgement and ensured that every suspect and different point of view should have at least one advocate.  A 100% consensus judgement of guilty was not allowed.

Every major business decision should include at least one major dissenting opinion in the debate.  If not, there's something wrong with the decision making culture... and leadership would be better served to find a dissenter.


1 comment:

Mrs.Phillips said...

Agree heartily with this idea. The trouble is in the practical application. Does the same person play the dissenter on every issue and risk becoming the "bad cop," or is there some expectation that everyone will contribute challenging ideas and opinions? I've found that there's usually only one or two people brave enough to actually speak up in a meeting and contradict or advocate against the consensus.

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