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What happens when a Deviant Thinker joins the group?

For many people, the thought of a Deviant Thinker joining their committee, is the equivalent of someone scraping their nails across a chalk board.

Deviant Thinking creates disharmony within a group.

But the question is:

“Is disharmony bad?”

According to Charlan J. Nemeth & Jack Goncalo there is great value in having a Deviant Thinker on your team.

Nemeth & Goncal claim that if even one person has a different view from the group, it causes the whole group to look at problems and solutions from many perspectives.  The Deviant Thinker can be totally wrong, but still positively affect the group.

Bottom line:

Groups with Deviant Thinkers in them, produce stronger and more original ideas. 

Next time you sit in a meeting and have a Deviant Thinker in the group, don’t frustrated at him for “derailing” the meeting.  Instead, thank them for having the courage to share their deviant idea.  It will help you think in better and different ways.  Or better yet, be sure to seek out and encourage Deviant Thinkers. It might just produce that million dollar idea you were looking for.

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