May 6

Like-minded People


I’ve always been a bit of an oddball. Square peg round hole kind of stuff.

I’ve always had a few friends and some family that had no choice but to put up with me, but I’ve never really been part of the crowd. Even playing hockey for so many years where I have met so many extraordinary people it has generally been confined to the ice. My college class was quite small and I have some contact with a couple of classmates but again, not so much. I tend to move around quite a bit so I am always meeting new people and it is amazing to me the diversity in thinking among groups.


It has me thinking about the pluses and minuses of spending time with like-minded people.


On the one extreme you have entire nations that seem to occupy only two camps. At the other end are countries with thinking so disparate they can’t even elect a government that lasts more than a few months at a time. Too much alignment and you risk groupthink. It really is a thing. One theory has groupthink as a cause in the NASA shuttle disasters. Another links it to the 2008 Wall Street debacle. Too little alignment and it starts to get difficult to get anything done.


I believe that less is more here. A greater variety and range of inputs is needed across the board. We need to find a way to reduce the number of boardrooms full of people nodding their heads in agreement. More people in engineering fields with arts backgrounds. More arts courses embedded into the curriculum of engineering. The construction industry could definitely benefit from a few new opinions at every level. HR departments in every industry are in dire need of a few creative types. One absolutely welcome side benefit in diversity and variety would be far fewer ‘us and them’ viewpoints. How long will the human race continue before the realization that there is no ‘them’?


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