By Conner Forrest | TechRepublic | October 2, 2014
The concept of tribalism, i.e. loyalty and dedication to one’s group or “tribe,” is evident, to some degree, in every part of daily life. In professional organizations, we often refer to these tribes as silos, and conversations and relations among these silos are often tense.
At the 14th annual IdeaFestival in Louisville, Kentucky Joshua D. Greene, psychology professor and director of the Moral Cognition Lab at Harvard University, gave a presentation called “Us/Them,” breaking down why it is difficult to encourage cooperation between groups or tribes and offering some ways to get past it.
Greene opened by explaining the economics theory of the Tragedy of the Commons, which states that in certain situations when everybody does what’s best for themselves, it leaves everyone else worse off. It is the concept of me versus the concept of us.
Even if we agree that we are going to cooperate, there are many open questions about the terms of the cooperation. Greene posed the question of how, in a multi-tribal world, are we going to find rules and systems to get along. Continue reading »