Abilene Paradox Syndrome in the Boardroom

Programme Overview

What if your board’s problem stems not from conflicts at all, but from agreement? But how could agreement be a problem? It sounds silly, but when board members do not communicate with one another, along the way, the Abilene Paradox exposes the often rational fears board members have about voicing unpopular truths. In fact, the Abilene Paradox teaches board members how much words are the dangers that await them if they don’t speak up. The Abilene Paradox programme shows board members how they can have the courage of their convictions and help their board and board members to grow and flourish. This programme will help board members make better decisions

 Programme Objective

To provide an insight into the world of Abilene Paradox. By the end of the programme each board member will be able to:

  • Gain insight into Jerry B. Harvey’s story on Abilene Paradox
  • Learn why the concept of Abilene Paradox is valuable in the boardroom
  • Engage in some practical exercise on how to engage in productive conflicts and build trust
  • Appreciate the concepts of groupthink, social loafing, social conformity and cognitive biases such as false consensus bias and bounded awareness, and the impact they have on teams
  • Do some short exercises and discuss ways to avoid Abilene Paradox in the boardroom

Programme Coverage

  • What is the Abilene Paradox syndrome?
  • The Abilene Paradox story – From Coleman to Abilene
  • Symptoms of the Abilene Paradox Syndrome
  • Staying out of the bus to Abilene. How?
  • Principles that allow the Abilene Paradox Syndrome to fester
  • Key indicators of the Abilene Paradox Syndrome in the boardroom
  • Example of Abilene Paradox in the boardroom
  • Diagnosing the Abilene Paradox Syndrome
  • Specific steps to avoiding the Abilene Paradox Syndrome
  • How to prevent the Abilene Paradox Syndrome in your board
  • Abilene Paradox today
  • Abilene Paradox Case 1 – Video
  • Abilene Paradox Case 2 – Video

Who Should Attend?

  • Board members (EDs, NEDs and INEDs)
  • Company secretaries, deputy secretaries and assistant secretaries

Duration: 1.5 hours (In-house/In-plant only)

Date: As agreed with our client

Programme fee: As negotiated

Key benefits: programme materials and certificate of participation