Detrimental Social Agreements – Thinkibility Nibble

Suppose you are a member of a Board of Directors of an Organization in which you have significants interests. Would you sign the declaration below thoughtlessly?

¨We reaffirm our belief that united, we are stronger in this increasingly unsettled and challenging world. We recognize our responsibility as Leaders to make our Organization stronger and our future brighter. That is why today we unanimously agree on commitments that will help us live up to that responsibility:

  • We will stay united, through thick and thin. We will show each other solidarity in times of need and we will always stand together. We can and we will speak with one voice.
  • We will always look for joint solutions, listening to each other in a spirit of understanding and respect.
  • We will deliver where it matters most. The organization will continue to be big on big matters.
  • We will always uphold the principle of fairness.
  • We will give ourselves the means to match our ambitions.
  • We will be a responsible global leader.

The decisions we take will follow the spirit and letter of these commitments. The Organization of today is stronger than that of yesterday and we want to continue to build its strength for tomorrow. This is our commitment for the future generations.¨

In our opinion: The above expression of unity and good intentions is a typical example of imposed consensus. It denies, even worse, it masks away political interests of participants and enforces groupthink. It is a declaration of obedience to ¨the Organization¨.

You are not allowed to dissent, because that is ¨not responsible¨ and hinders arriving to a ¨joint solution¨. It would mean that you are not ¨united¨ and have notwithstanding that difference in opinions and interests? That is not ¨responsible¨. Who decides what will be fair in a situation defined as ¨through thick and thin united¨? Who is ¨We¨?

Read again. Would you accept this?

The quote is taken from The Sibiu Declaration, signed at a Summit of Heads of State of the European Union in Sibiu, May 9 2019. The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe.

Nearly every organisation is built this way. Do you have examples that suggests the opposite?

More about Group Think and Social Dynamics


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