Herd Behavior, Useless Meetings, and Solomon Asch

Blanchard LeaderChat

Standing Out From the CrowdAsk people how they feel about meetings. Most people hate them and feel they are a waste of time. Monster.com and Time magazine agree—both list meetings as the #3 biggest time waster at work.

We all know leaders aren’t perfect. But why do they continue to hold those interminable, aggravating, and results-free “walks in the park”? One theory is that leaders use meetings to provide confirmation of decisions they’ve already made. Consciously or subconsciously, they push conformance to their decisions and plans—and that occupies a lot of meeting time.

So attendees, wanting to “get this thing over with,” learn to become members of the dutiful herd. They go along with whatever seems to be the politically safe outcome.

A Brief History of Herd Behavior

Let’s recount a summary of Dr. Solomon Asch’s research on conformity and herd behavior, starring you. (Asch was a social psychology pioneer in the mid- to…

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