Opinion of various colors and hues is not only the acceptable, but rather the absolute desirable part of socio-political dynamics of any successful organisation.
The views of the majority shall prevail and be recognized as the collective mind and will of the Association; that is the litmus test of a great organisation like ours. Unanimity is extremely significant too: there must be unanimity of purpose, and commitment to the principles of the Association.
However, what we have noticed is the growing tendency to take pride in making declarations that decisions (sometimes even all decisions in a series of meetings) have been arrived without any differe
nce of opinion.
It is just not possible that group members have the very same opinion on every issue in every meeting. If that’s happening, we need to check: what’s the quality of environment in our meetings?
Differing points of view are just different perspectives; the best team players must consider it their bounden duty to offer them for the continued success of the team; rather if everyone always basically consents to everything that is brought up for consideration, that can only indicate that all individuals are not applying their minds. After all, groups are created to take advantage of collective wisdom.
It is common knowledge that until and unless members are convinced that leaders in any organization appreciate candid expression of opinions, and that contrarians are respected for the freshness that they bring to the organization, they do not feel comfortable and would perhaps remain restrained.
As human beings, the challenge is that we are so accustomed to the lens that we have been using for so many years to view and judge situations that any suggested change may conjure in our minds a “danger” signal. Who likes being told that it’s time to get out of one’s comfort zone? But then comfort zones are only transitory!
Organizations that make it a part of their culture to invite and encourage their constituents to speak openly ensure that each idea goes through a process of filtration that keeps virus away. Their
members have a sense of belonging because they feel respected for their own worth and each decision has ownership to back its execution.
Even if everyone’s view cannot be a part of the final course of action, the fact that they were welcomed to participate freely binds them stronger in the ultimate analysis. That is “unity”. If sometimes individuals comprising a group have the same opinion, that is absolutely fine, specially on points of principle and at times of crisis; all that I am saying is that it cannot be a rule.
The culture that ensures the success of organisations is: have free and frank decisions, but once a decision is made, everyone stays thoroughly committed to its implementation. That is the goal of unity.