The more alike the Board members or senior managers are (to each other) the larger is the challenge to counter the acquired tendency for people in groups to think alike.
So one of the things I do with groups of managers and Board members is to elicit difference. Initially I suggest to them new ways of thinking about questions that they raise. I show them how to think in new ways by modelling different and alternative ways of thinking.
Then I train them as individuals to think in new ways – to think more critically and also to think more creatively. Once individuals in the group begin to practise thinking in new ways, I train the group to think differently to each other and to be able to present differing, even contradictory, ideas and theories to the whole group.
I create diversity in thinking in ‘mono-cultural’ conceptual environments.
It is both difficult and uncomfortable for people to change their thinking. Moreover it is psychologically difficult to be different to their peers. However it is essential that the Boards and senior management of large corporations and large organisations can generate alternative solutions to problems. And to be able to generate alternatives, there must be some different ideas put forward for consideration.