When we hang out with the same people, read the same books, watch the same shows, we tend to have the same ideas. This also generates a type of team or group culture. ‘That’s not the way things are done around here’ becomes part of it.
Change does happen, but it is very slow.
There is a certain type of immense strength in these groups as how life or jobs are done are fairly rigid. People know their roles, their ‘place’. However, these groups are also very brittle. When a new idea gets in and takes root, the group tends to fall apart. There is no flex. No adaptabilty. Because things were just so, ‘This is the way we do things around here’, there was little room for learning, for thinking. Therefore, the rigidity becomes brittle when met with new ideas partly because people don’t know how to think, to analyse, to investigate, and to adapt.
This is one of the arguments for the strength of diversity. Diverse teams and lives have a strength homogenous groups can not have. With diversity come new ideas, which need to be analysed, investigated, evaluated. When problems and challenges arise (and they will), not everyone thinks similarly. Therefore, there are many ideas of how to approach the challenges.
New ideas come from a many places, just not the ones we visit often. And sometimes the best ideas are old ones, written about a long time ago. People have forgotten them.
How can you encourage your team to read and watch a diverse set of books and videos from each other. Perhaps some classics, perhaps from healthcare, architecture, agriculture, religion, transportation, and so on. Perhaps women writers, black writers, queer writers, too. Seek out new perspectives, including ones you disagree with.
And then talk about them. If you do this for a few months, a year, my guess is that when you talk about change and the barriers to it, the discussions to find solutions will be much richer than they are today.
Give it a try. What do you have to lose?
The “group think phenomenon was studied extensively in the 1950’s
Unfortunately the fam jam is having a hard time accepting the fact that I’m not the same person I was is morning