Bonehead CircleOne of my faithful readers pointed out a comment I made in my last post about Open Dialogue. It was when I referred to my reluctance to speak up recently about a bonehead move by a co-worker.

He said that in his experience, “Maybe the problem is that boneheaded moves slip by because nobody actually pays attention to boneheads in the first place. The other thing is that some bonehead invited the bonehead to participate in the dialogue, so we’re faced with a self-perpetuating bonehead circle of life.”

And that one comment opened up a whole new window to business behaviour. There are bonehead circles that arise in business when one bonehead hires another one, and then another one, and before long you have a group of boneheads.

If you’re thrust into a circle of these boneheads, it may seem surreal. You might wonder why everyone around you is thinking or acting in such a strange way. This is not quite as bad though as when you start to agree with them or act in the same way. Then you must wonder, have you become a bonehead too?

I think this is what happens over time. You get one or two boneheads in a group and entropy sets in. Sooner or later everyone begins to think and act in the same way and you have a bonehead circle.

That’s when the problems start. Bonehead circles can’t see problems or opportunities. They don’t recognize danger or come up with new, innovative and creative ideas. When you’ve got a bonehead circle no one is able to criticize other members of the circle.

And the inevitable result is like watching a good business get flushed down the toilet, boneheads and all.