Beth, it is important to have useful criticism. At General Electric we were schooled constantly about this. If you were going to criticize something you had better have an alternative. Quite frankly, the alternative may be argued with, but in the process we typically came up with a synthesis that moved things forward. Don't be afraid to criticize, but don't just complain, either.
Great post, Dave. Groupthink is a danger that happens across all professions and to everyone at some point in time in their personal life. The on-going challenge is to strike that balance between useful criticism and problem identification and trying to find issues just because it's expected. Groupthink is also often a result of an ingrained organizational culture which unfortunately, transcends any one engineer's ability to break down and fix.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
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