June 3, 2004
News & Opinion: Solidarity vs. diversity
That suggests a dismal conclusion -- you can have cognitive diversity or you can have group cohesiveness, but not both. But in this case recognizing the dilemma should help organizations wrestle with it. Disagreement tends to erode cohesiveness because too many companies see dissent as destructive. But if you set up the right system for aggregating people's judgments, and make explicit the fact that diverse opinions will actually end up strengthening the group's collective judgment, it may help dissenters to speak up without fear of being quelled. I think one area where this approach would yield an immediate payoff is in the corporate boardroom, where too often directors seem to go along to get along.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.