Yes Men need not apply

Could your business benefit from a Red Team?

Businesses suffer in an environment of Yes Men. We look at how a business can flourish when analysis, critical thinking and voicing dissent is championed.

First of all, what is a Red Team? If you’ve watched the fast-talking, hit TV series, The Newsroom, you’ll understand. For those who haven’t, I’ll explain. 

A Red Team is a group of people whose job it is to voice dissent and opposition - the antithesis of the Yes Men. In a media context, a Red Team will pull apart and objectively question every aspect of a proposed news story until they are convinced it is sound. Only then does it go to air. With origins in the military, companies such as IBM, Apple and Microsoft have been known to use Red Teams.

Research shows that considering diverse and dissenting views is critical to effective decision-making. Every leader needs a Red Team or Challenger in Chief - someone who will cut through the politics and be the voice of reason, logic and dissent - because it’s their job to do so.

I know a few business leaders who wouldn’t take kindly to having their ideas or decisions challenged by those around them. They would rather face a room full of Yes Men nodding at their every suggestion than someone who calls their thinking into question. However, to steer an organisation in the right direction, its leaders need to be challenged by those around them to think differently.

From an employee’s perspective, talent should challenge their leaders if they want to grow and add value to an organisation. The skill of critical thinking and analysis can be a highly valued asset in a management team. Be brave, ask the questions that need asking and express your opinion in an insightful way.

Does your business take the time to thoroughly investigate, analyse and evaluate an idea? Perhaps you could benefit from a Red Team.