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The Abilene Paradox
Program length: 26:00

Now with enhanced video quality

Has fear lead you to say "yes" to a proposed group endeavor when "no" was your true response? People will often "go along to get along" if they have any doubt at all about what will happen if they present opposition. It's a common dilemma and the reason many organizational efforts fail. This video program depicts individuals who support plans they really don't believe in -- leading groups to meaningless, costly outcomes.

The Abilene Paradox, 2nd Edition delivers an entertaining parable from management expert Dr. Jerry B. Harvey. This story of a family trip to Abilene offers a timeless lesson on group decision-making that all organizations can benefit from. Leaders must create a workplace where people are free to disagree and are encouraged to voice their true opinions. So the lesson is: Make sure you've received everyone's honest input on the action you're about to take. 

The workshop includes exercises with a flexible design to help participants learn:

  • The five psychological principles of The Abilene Paradox
  • How to avoid false consensus and achieve effective decision-making within a group

This best-selling program has helped thousands of organizations increase profits and productivity by helping teams make better group decisions. Travel the road to Abilene and you'll arrive at a place where deeply held, logical values fall victim to group dynamics. It's a bumpy ride culminating in meaningless outcomes and blame, but you can "skip the trip" if you know how to read the road signs. 
Also Available:
Manager Moments: How to Excel in Tricky Situations
Teamwork in Crisis: The Miracle of Flight 232      

Languages Available (sold separately): English, Spanish (subtitled), Bahasa Indonesia (subtitled), Chinese Simplified (subtitled), Chinese Traditional (subtitled), Japanese (subtitled), Italian (subtitled)

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Honest opinions from the managers and employees who use our training products in the real world.
The Abilene Paradox
reviewed by 4 people
    Trainer - Professional Trainer
A re-make of CRM's Classic from many years back. The "Abilene Paradox" offers a fascinating discussion about why group agreement isn't always what it seems. I particularly liked the supporting examples and I think viewers will be able to relate and be highly entertained at the same time. While I do feel the video doesn't go far enough describing and demonstrating the behaviors necessary to avoid mismanaged agreement, it is still a poignant and entertaining video, well worth checking out.

  • Interesting, thought provoking story and narrative
  • Good supporting workplace examples
6 out of 9 people thought the following review was helpful:
    Cinthia Kleven - Training Coordinator - CNNBS
I saw the first version of Abilene Paradox many years ago and was thrilled to see an updated version of the video available. I still think the story line holds up. It's engaging and thought provoking. Thanks.
2 out of 2 people thought the following review was helpful:
    B. Johnson - President - Integrity Learning
I love the Abilene Paradox. It is one of my favorites - a classic that will never loose relevance. I would suggest this video be essential viewing for any work group or team.
    Susan Ewing - Capital Blue Cross
The addition of the realistic "Project X" scenario adds to the value of this program and demonstrates that the Abilene Paradox can indeed occur in the business world. The next step is to balance the negative aspects (i.e. the evolution of the original trip to Abilene, Project X, and the wedding)with more constructive suggestions for how to abort the ill-fated trips. (I did not look at the trainer's materials or participant guides, so perhaps there is more on this subject there.)