Philosophy interlude! JS Mill on why your team must be able to disagree with you
Just back from my extended holiday (hence the lack of posts this week!) to pick up my eldest son’s GCSE results. The new new GCSE system (I was O levels!). I’m really chuffed with how he’s done. But it prompted me to look at some of my old school and uni notes, and I was surprised at what turned up.
Philosophy was part of my degree, and keeps bringing up surprises at work where I least expect them to be.
I wrote recently about my strong belief in fostering ideas in teams (https://valuesledbusiness.com/blogs/blog/bsbt/your-team-must-be-able-to-disagree-with-you/), and debate in board rooms (https://valuesledbusiness.com/blogs/blog/bsbt/dissent-in-the-board-leadership-room/).
Lo and behold – looking through my old books by John Stuart Mill (sorry – quotes from 2 centuries ago, hardly blockchain), and I see this.
“The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”
He should have had my job!