wondering why no one is willing to acknowledge that the project is late and the schedule keeps slipping
discussing the latest software release and wondering why no one wants to admit that there are bugs
reviewing the project plan and wondering why no one seems to be aware that there aren’t enough people (or the right people) for the work to be done
asking yourself how much more money will be poured down the hole of a failing project
Or … fill in your own “how did we get here?” experience.
So how did we get here?
Are you the only one who thinks the problem is obvious?
Of course not.
But no one wants to be the first to point it out.
No one wants to break ranks. No one wants to be the messenger that gets shot. No one wants to be told they’re not a team player.
No one wants to point out that pouring more money down the hole of a bad idea … is a bad idea.
It’s called the “sunk cost trap.” Having spent money on something, we’re pyschologically likely to keep spending money, even in the face of evidence that it’s not working – as you can see in the clip from our bestselling program The Abilene Paradox.
But as you can also see in that clip – and as you’ve probably noticed in your own experience – once one person has the courage to step forward and ask the tough questions, other people will admit that they were wondering the same things.
The consequences of failing to address real problems are significant.
Even though it might feel safer to everyone involved, “going along to get along” is not a good policy when you (and everyone around you) is silently wondering how did we get here?
How do you get out of here? Start with courage. Live it yourself and encourage it in others.
Then – of course – train your employees and teams on practices proven to help teams avoid ineffective group dynamics like false consensus and the "sunk cost trap." Preview The Abilene Paradox
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