An explanation as to how groups (and companies) make decisions which are favoured by none of their members

๐Ÿ’Ž An explanation as to how groups (and companies) make decisions which are favoured by none of their members

The article is called โ€œThe Abilene Paradox’, and it’s by the management theorist Jerry Harvey; it begins with a personal anecdote set not at Christmas but during a stiflingly hot Texas summer. Harvey and his wife were staying with her parents, and relaxing one afternoon when his father-in-law suggested a trip to Abilene, 50 miles away, for dinner. Harvey was appalled at the thought of driving โ€˜across a godforsaken desert, in a furnace-like temperature … to eat unpalatable food. But his wife seemed keen, so he kept his objections to himself.

The experience was as terrible as he’d predicted. Later, trying to be upbeat, he said, โ€œThat was a great trip, wasn’t it?’ but one by one, each family member confessed they’d hated they had agreed to go only because they believed it was what the others wanted. “Listen, I never wanted to go to Abilene”, Harvey’s father-in-law said. โ€œI just thought you might be bored?”

Excerpt from Help!: How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done by Oliver Burkeman

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