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The Abilene Paradox

Beautiful girl in studioThis subject is really old news, but it bears repeating because the condition runs rampant in any organization, even today, and we often fail to see it happening right under our noses. The title is so old, there are probably many readers who have not even heard of it. The lesson revealed is as applicable today as it was when management expert Jerry B. Harvey first wrote about it way back in 1974.

Jerry told a story of a family sweltering in the heat in Coleman, Texas, on a Sunday afternoon The group of four were sweating out the afternoon by playing dominos on the front porch and drinking lemonade. The father made idle conversation, asking if anyone wanted to take a 50 mile drive to Abilene to eat at the cafeteria there. The mother indicated it would be a nice idea, and the two adult children went along…

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