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Following the crowd

10 Comments

Scott’s recent response to a post got me thinking about group conformity:

The first video:

Candid Camera (2 minutes 13 seconds)

The second is less Candid Camera and more Solomon Asch:

If successful business depends on difference, then learning the skills of iconoclasm to me seem essential. Just why do we conform? And how can we learn to be different?

The neuroscientist Gregory Bern’s book Iconoclast gives some great examples of iconoclasts at work (including Arthur Jones, developer of the Nautilus training machine. Perhaps an inspiration for Indiana Jones (?), his personal motto was “Younger women, faster airplanes and bigger crocodiles”.)

And Bern gives some pointers too on how to cultivate your difference. He suggests developing:

  • your perception
  • your courage
  • your social skills.

Ignoring his interesting appendix on how to manipulate your brain chemistry (!) to enhance these areas, the main initial driver for me is awareness of my own limited perceptions.

(Thanks Richard Wiseman/Quirkology).

But what works for you?

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Author: Pete Burden

Asking good questions in a complex world to help people navigate, learn & grow #Coaching #Leadership #ActionLearning #OD Projects & businesses with #SocialValue

10 thoughts on “Following the crowd

  1. Oh and while we’re talking about awareness did you see this….

    (Thanks Ray)

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  3. My friend and I have been looking for content like this for my project I’m working on. Thank you alot =)

  4. A really interesting postscript to this post is contained in the talk by Dr Scot Atran at the RSA http://www.thersa.org/events/audio-and-past-events/2010/talking-to-the-enemy. Scott talks with passion and knowledge about the roots of terrorism and jihadism.

    Surprisingly it seems that terrorism is more about group conformity, amongst young people, than it is about brainwashing. Or just about any other predictor.

    Recommended.

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