Research has shown that consensus-based problem-solving groups are often where innovative ideas go to die. These groups are highly prone to groupthink — quick agreement around status quo solutions with little discussion or deliberation. So how can managers help their teams keep fresh ideas alive? Researchers studied four virtual task forces that were set up to recommend a process to make Americans’ health care records electronic. They found that the groups who avoided groupthink followed three steps: 1) They challenged the status quo; 2) They adopted a placeholder solution that allowed them to agree on broad principles even if they disagreed on the details; and 3) They celebrated progress towards a final agreement, which allowed them to maintain morale and momentum.

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