Book Excerpt

ISBN 9798623851925; Library of Congress Control Number: 2020910357

Coming in August 2020. Enter your email address below to receive notice when this book is available on Amazon.

From the back cover: The popular, majority view often decides what’s best in everything from entertainment to business practices. Time and again, however, we’ve seen how going along with the crowd can lead to dissatisfying or disastrous results. If only we had taken the time to form a thoughtful, dissenting opinion. Devils in the Details calls for the rise of modern Devil’s Advocacy to help reduce risk and manage uncertainty. Through discussion and examples, this book challenges decision-makers from the CEO to the newly minted manager to think and act like a modern Devil’s Advocate.


by Kristan J. Wheaton, JD, Professor of Strategic Futures, US Army War College, Author of The Warning Solution: Intelligent Analysis in the Age of Information Overload and recipient of the CIA Seal Medallion

I first met Bob Koshinskie when I was a Professor of Intelligence Studies at Mercyhurst University. I was seeking assistance with a project that my students were conducting, and Bob was quick to offer his help. Since that initial contact, we’ve kept in touch, sharing information and thoughts on a variety of topics related to critical thinking and analysis. So, when Bob asked me to comment on a few items in a draft of this book, I was happy to do so. Although I tried to stick to Bob’s specific questions, his draft was so well-written and accessible that I just kept reading. The comments that I share below are my own and are not an endorsement by the United States Government or of the US Army War College where I am currently Professor of Strategic Futures.

A core issue that this book addresses is the power of conformity and the willingness of our minds to adopt the majority view despite clear evidence to the contrary. One of the best-known examples of this troubling behavior was demonstrated in the 1950s by social psychologist, Solomon Asch. Asch’s experiments revealed how subjects easily and accurately matched a series of simple lines by their length when tested individually but were swayed when tested in groups where Asch’s accomplices intentionally gave wrong answers. On average, the test subjects conformed to the group and gave wrong answers as well 32% of the time with 5% of the test subjects adopting the majority view on every instance!

Conformity is just one of several hundred biases that scientists have identified in the soft tissue between our ears. These biases are the result of evolutionary pressure and may well have been helpful in the savannas of eastern Africa at the dawn of mankind. In today’s complex world, however, our cognitive biases can often cause systematic errors in judgment and poor outcomes. This book is a laudable effort to correct sloppy thinking, and it starts with an age-old solution, Devil’s Advocacy.

The original Devil’s Advocates were individuals skilled in legal methodology who were tasked by the Catholic Church to argue against the canonization of popular candidates. The Church leadership intended their Devil’s Advocates to ensure that someone who everybody believed was worthy of sainthood truly met the standards for sainthood. Bob’s core premise is that the widespread practice of modern secular Devil’s Advocacy can offer significant benefits in our personal and business lives. Indeed, Bob makes a strong case in the early chapters that, if we are ever to overcome our deep-seated biases, then we must collect additional and disconfirming evidence, form and evaluate alternative hypotheses, and regularly look at our problems from diverse and new viewpoints.

More than just making a case for better thinking, Bob has also given us tools to do so, including methods and techniques from a variety of disciplines that have served him well over a career of addressing real-world problems. It was this methods section that first caught my eye because I have spent the better part of a lifetime as an instructor, advisor, author, and speaker studying and communicating about how to think. I was surprised, then, to see so many new or less familiar methods described in the book. Moreover, each section was clearly highlighted with a variety of helpful icons, warnings, and illustrations.

In both clarity and concision, Devils in the Details is a worthwhile addition to the library of anyone who is responsible for crucial decision-making. You will find, as I did, an accessible and almost conversational book that is filled with useful anecdotes, methods, and deep insights.


The book you hold is the result of a chance meeting I had in September of 2018 while attending a networking event at the North Carolina State University (NCSU) McKimmon Center in Raleigh, NC. It was there that I met Dr. Holly Sullenger, a well-known corporate trainer, and speaker who at the time was the Assistant Director for NCSU Technology Training Solutions.

Holly and I talked about our backgrounds and our mutual interests in education and training, including the widely acknowledged need for improved critical thinking skills. We agreed that businesses regularly lament the lack of critical thinking skills in their hiring candidates and employees who are tasked to make reasoned decisions in an increasingly complex world. We also agreed that adult learners could benefit from an introduction to basic critical-thinking and decision-making.

I told Holly about my collection of critical-thinking resources that I had gathered up over the years, from textbooks and training certificates to software simulation tools. I had used these materials for presentations at events like the local chapter of the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), the annual ProductCamp RTP conference, and addressing graduate-level students at The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN). These events, however, provided only enough time for me to lightly cover just one or two concepts.

As our conversation grew to a close, Holly offered me the opportunity to conduct a “practice teach” for her and her staff – a short PowerPoint presentation in which I would outline the topics for a critical thinking class. I returned a couple of weeks later and delivered my presentation after which Holly asked if I would create and teach the class that I had just proposed. I accepted Holly’s challenge and in January 2019 Improve Your Decision-Making Skills went live.

As I was developing the course, I followed author James Thurber’s advice, “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”  Rather than presenting a list of prescriptive processes and dubious iron-clad solutions, I wanted the course to be an informal discussion that would encourage open, thoughtful debate and reflect the uncertainty of real-world decision-making.

Recognizing that the attendees would have a wide range of experience and training, I designed the course to build upon simple ideas and analogies to more advanced concepts. I’ve written this book as a primer that is intended to convey the casual tone and open exploration of the live course.

I’ve provided references in the endnotes and suggested resources so you can explore more deeply those topics that catch your interest. Although this book is intended for business professionals from the CEO to the newly minted manager, it will also be of interest to anyone with a natural curiosity from college-level students to adult learners.

In search of a title for this book, I reflected on Devil’s Advocates of long ago. Tasked to build and present a case in opposition to a candidate for sainthood, Devil’s Advocates were placed into battle against popular opinion – and often at odds with powerful people who could simply ignore the Advocate’s findings and recommendations. Nonetheless, these original Devil’s Advocates conscientiously pressed ahead to help ensure that claims were being properly vetted before important decisions were made.

This book calls for the rise of the modern secular Devil’s Advocate who will help better assess judgments and decisions and thereby reduce risk and manage uncertainty. Modern Devil’s Advocates can challenge not only business cases but the dubious assertions of our politicians, misleading charlatan claims, and the minions of malicious misinformation. Modern Devil’s Advocacy can also help us thoughtfully question our own assumptions, beliefs, and judgments.

Robert Koshinskie


The goal of this book is to encourage more people to embrace the role of a modern Devil’s Advocate and thereby involve more of these particular “devils in the details” of important daily decision-making. I hope to convince you that the practice of modern Devil’s Advocacy can help reduce risk and manage uncertainty in our businesses, communities, and personal lives. My proposition is based on various perspectives that I explore in this book, including two key points. First, that thinking skills and informed skepticism contribute to better performance and outcomes. Second, that thinking skills and informed skepticism can be developed and effectively applied through the practice of Devil’s Advocacy.

Devil’s Advocacy is typically associated with an individual who challenges the majority view, but the practice also offers a means to critically assess our own beliefs and judgments and to work with other Devil’s Advocates. Modern Devil’s Advocacy provides an open-ended and flexible form of inquiry and analysis that can be useful in the business setting. Further, practically anyone from the CEO to the new hire can become a modern Devil’s Advocate if they have the desire to do so.

Devil’s Advocacy helps ensure that beliefs, assumptions, and claims are reasonably challenged and substantiated. We’ll see how such challenges are neither cynical nor pessimistic, but intentionally counterbalancing – moderating both unfounded enthusiasm and pointless gloominess. Modern Devil’s Advocates are tasked to bridge the simplified and ideal world that exists in our minds and the complex physical world in which we live and work.

The perspectives I offer throughout this book include my decades-long career, mostly in the regulated medical device industry. Over those years I have founded and worked in startups and have held senior management positions in international market leaders. Along the way I have been trained as a PRINCE2 Practitioner and in other proprietary processes, some of which I helped develop and manage. I currently provide business consulting services, mentor participants in the National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps Program, and teach a class that I created on decision-making. These and other experiences afford me a unique and broad view of how people and companies struggle with daily decision-making and execution of plans, and a perspective about how Devil’s Advocacy can be beneficial to those activities.

This book introduces foundational concepts and methods that a modern Devil’s Advocate can use in daily practice. As you read the material ahead you may begin to feel unsure about the validity of your own strongly held beliefs, and that doubt would be a good sign. Hesitation to respond automatically to questions with simple and widely accepted answers is a beneficial and useful behavior for a modern Devil’s Advocate.

The concepts discussed in this book require little to no background in business, science, or any other domain of expertise. Written with the adult learner in mind, this book is primarily intended for business professionals who are responsible for decision-making and execution. However, this book will also be of interest to any inquisitive reader, including college-aged adults who are about to venture into the waiting world and its many thorny problems. I’ve organized this book into chapters as follows.

  • Chapter 1: We will look at the thinking skills gap and how that gap is impacting our personal and work lives. We will consider the difference between how we believe that things work and how we attempt to use those beliefs in the real world through formal processes. We will examine different kinds of processes and why even so-called best practices should not be shielded from thoughtful challenges.
  • Chapter 2: We will explore several areas over which we have control, including the different kinds of thinking that we can apply to Devil’s Advocacy. We will see how real arguments can be used to express our assumptions and conclusions and to examine the assumptions and conclusions that others make. We will also look at examples of key bias and fallacy that we need to acknowledge and manage so they do not cloud our thinking.
  • Chapter 3: We will examine conditions over which we may have little or no control, including unexpected disruption, uncertainty, and luck. We will consider how to integrate these conditions into our thinking and analyses.
  • Chapter 4: We will explore a variety of tools that can be helpful, including how to capture and document what we believe are cause-and-effect relationships, and how to test those relationships in dynamic simulations. We will also examine methods for group decision-making and how teams can make decisions in a timely fashion even in the absence of unanimous agreement.
  • Chapter 5: We put the prior chapters into perspective and conclude with some guidance on how to proceed on the path of a modern Devil’s Advocate and final thoughts based on my experience.

A Very Brief History of Devil’s Advocacy

Given the theme of this book, I want to provide some background on the origin of Devil’s Advocacy, a very old idea that serves as a model for the modern Devil’s Advocacy discussed in this book.

The concept of Devil’s Advocacy originated in the Roman Catholic Church around 1381 AD and was institutionalized as a Church practice a couple of hundred years later. The purpose of this function was to investigate popular candidates for whom sainthood was proposed. The men who were tasked to conduct these investigations were officially designated Promotor of the Faith. Working against a person’s sainthood, however, they were commonly referred to as the Devil’s Advocate.

The role of the original Devil’s Advocate emerged from a decision by the Church leadership to have more uniform standards for sainthood. Through such standards, all candidates would be judged by the same set of examination rules rather than by the whims of individual parish leaders. This move toward a laws-based approach to saint-making was likewise reflected in the creation of the Courts of the Inquisition and is why both endeavors shared the structure of a trial (i.e. witnesses, depositions, evidence). An incentive for the Church’s decision to take a more critical review of saint-making in the 1630s may have also been due, in part, to disparagements by Protestant reformers.

By the 20th Century, the duties of the Devil’s Advocate included the prevention of any “rash decisions concerning miracles or virtues of the candidates” and “to suggest natural explanations for alleged miracles, and even to bring forward human and selfish motives for deeds that have been accounted heroic virtues”. Similarly, the modern Devil’s Advocate contribution is to challenge the veracity of claims, identify the influence of bias and fallacy on decisions, and thereby help arrive at better decisions (absent the need for miraculous claims).

You may find it interesting that the Church has essentially eliminated the role of the Devil’s Advocate, a decision that has opened the floodgates to modern saint-making. According to US Catholic Magazine,

“Revisions to the canonization process in 1983 ensured we will see more saints in the future…John Paul II canonized more saints than the popes from the previous 500 years combined.”

Shifting from the original, religious intent of Devil’s Advocacy to the modern secular form discussed in this book, we can look to a concise definition provided by former CIA intelligence analysts Richards Heuer and Randolph Pherson in their book, Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis,

“A process for critiquing a proposed analytic judgement, plan, or decision, usually by a single analyst not previously involved in the deliberations that led to the proposed judgment, plan or decision…The Devil’s Advocate is charged with challenging the proposed judgment by building the strongest possible case against it. There is no prescribed procedure.”

The practice of Devil’s Advocacy serves as the foundation for both Red Hat Analysis and Red Team Analysis. In the intelligence community, practitioners of these forms of Devil’s Advocacy attempt to get inside the mind of an adversary (i.e. the Blue Team). By adopting the mindset of their opponents, intelligence analysts hope to understand their adversaries’ view of the world and thereby avoid the natural human inclination to assume that everyone sees the world in the same way. Devil’s Advocacy practice can provide insight that uncovers underlying weaknesses in assumptions and judgments that underpin a widely held position.

The Devil’s Advocacy method is one of over forty-five analytic techniques that Heuer and Pherson include in their book. Certainly, the modern Devil’s Advocate should explore, learn, and apply a variety of techniques that are appropriate and useful for different situations. I’ve decided to focus on Devil’s Advocacy in this book rather than the many other methods for two main reasons.

First, Devil’s Advocacy requires thinking skills and an inquisitive perspective, both of which are foundational behaviors in all analytic techniques. Second, Devil’s Advocacy typically involves a single analyst who can make a difference through their actions rather than assuming that others will take responsibility and act. This “inhibiting influence” that others have on our inclination to act (i.e. the Bystander Effect) is a common phenomenon that can be particularly troubling in the business setting as we’ll discuss further ahead.

Devil’s Advocacy embodies the habits of a good analytic thinker as itemized by Heuer and Pherson,

  1. Know when to challenge key assumptions – usually far more often than you think, according to Heuer and Pherson
  2. Consider alternative explanations or hypotheses for all events (see Bias and Fallacy in Chapter 2)
  3. Look for inconsistent data that provides sufficient justification to quickly discard a candidate hypothesis
  4. Focus on the key drivers that best explain what has occurred or what is about to happen (see Causal Loop Diagrams in Chapter 4)
  5. Anticipate the customers’ needs and understand the overarching context within which the analysis is being done (see Chapter 5 guidance)

I propose that through the promotion of modern Devil’s Advocacy we can create more individuals who are better prepared and willing to participate in many forms of analytic techniques, thereby reducing risk and managing uncertainty.

Why Devil’s Advocacy Matters Today

No doubt you’ve noticed how a majority opinion can lead to very impressive, although sometimes perplexing, outcomes. Popularity can propel an otherwise unremarkable person into a high office or turn a social network blogger into a wealthy and influential celebrity. Such majority support can lead to unwanted and negative outcomes, but Life goes on. Perhaps the popular majority opinion is generally a good thing that ought to be protected from examination by Devil’s Advocacy? Perhaps not.

Consider the case of the Theranos company whose youthful founder, Elizabeth Holmes, attracted broad support for her venture with a baritone-voiced visionary persona that she created. Holmes successfully gained initial supporters and raised funding for Theranos, reinforcing a foundation of credibility that engaged high-profile supporters and more funding.

Holmes’ roster of investors contained many highly regarded individuals, including “Oracle founder Larry Ellison, venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, now Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and media mogul Rupert Murdoch.” The din from the growing number of fervent Holmes’ supporters and the escalating valuation of Theranos seemed to drown out reasoned dissent offered by several notable parties, including

  • Dr. Phyllis Gardner, a Stanford Medical School professor who expressed skepticism about Holmes concept on technical grounds
  • Theranos Chief Financial Officer Henry Mosley who “was fired after questioning the reliability of its technology and the honesty of the company”
  • The chief medical officer of Safeway who questioned “discrepancies in the test results” which didn’t dissuade Safeway’s CEO
  • Lieutenant Colonel David Shoemaker who “raised concerns about Theranos’ regulatory strategy to the FDA” and reportedly revised his position after “battling James Mattis, who was on the Theranos board”

The arc of the Theranos journey peaked at a $9 billion valuation and collapsed under the weight of criminal investigations and indictments of Holmes and her co-founder. If we were seeking an example of a case where dissenting voices should have been heeded, then Theranos is such an example.

Similar consolidation of decision-making is going on today, the results of which won’t be known for some time. For example, the Wall Street Journal has noted that Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, tends to create an environment that discounts dissent and The New York Times reported that Zuckerberg has built a board of directors that favors his decisions,

“The board isn’t exactly a check on his power. Last year, Kenneth Chenault, the former chief executive of American Express, suggested creating an independent committee to scrutinize the company’s challenges and pose the sort of probing questions the board wasn’t used to being asked…Other board disagreements, specifically around political advertising and the spread of misinformation, always ended with Mr. Zuckerberg’s point of view winning out.”

I’m not comparing Zuckerberg’s intentions and actions to those of Holmes, but perhaps there is good reason to be concerned about the consolidation of decision-making, lack of transparency, and absence of strong dissent?

Modern Devil’s Advocacy may also offer benefits outside of the business domain, particularly as a tonic against widely believed misinformation. For example, as I was writing this book, unfounded claims about COVID-19 were spreading as quickly as the pandemic. The following are the more popular allegations that were circulating on the internet.

  • It is a bioweapon that was inadvertently or intentionally unleashed – this claim has reportedly been linked to “former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao, and US Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas”
  • A patented virus as part of a plot involving Microsoft® founder, Bill Gates – reportedly advanced by conspiracy theorists who also believe that the United States military put Donald Trump into the White House to save the country from pedophilic Satanists
  • Corona® brand of beer has something to do with the virus – reportedly “16% of beer drinking Americans were confused about whether Corona beer is related to the coronavirus”
  • Certain “colloidal silver solutions” are effective cures for the virus, including a tonic promoted by the disgraced televangelist, Jim Bakker, and a “nanosilver toothpaste” promoted by the infamous conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones

Such bizarre beliefs aren’t uncommon and can be difficult to rectify, especially in highly charged situations. During the 2015 and 2016 Zika epidemic in Brazil, even the best efforts to correct misinformation led to counterintuitive results as investigators reported,

“…efforts to counter misperceptions about diseases during epidemics and outbreaks may not always be effective. We find that corrective information not only fails to reduce targeted Zika misperceptions but also reduces the accuracy of other beliefs about the disease.”

The suggestion that active attempts to correct erroneous information may fail is particularly troubling when you consider that little to no such corrective action is taken to confirm the countless claims made daily on social networks. One recent survey conducted by Harris Poll, for example, revealed how easily misinformation can be spread through social networks, noting that,

  • 86% of people don’t fact check the news they read on social media
  • 79% of Americans on social media said they trust at least some of the content shared by friends
  • When Americans read a news article shared by a friend on social media, the most common action they took was to then share it themselves (32%). That’s an important point because it highlights just how easily news that may be erroneous, misleading, inaccurate, or entirely made up can spread.

Even more troubling, it appears as though when fact-checking is provided it may do little to change the opinion of those who are misinformed and might harden their strongly held beliefs. Researchers at The Brookings Institution looked at the “political informedness” of participants in four categories,

  1. Informed: those who know a fact and are confident in their knowledge
  2. Uninformed: those who know that they don’t know a fact
  3. Misinformed: those who believe they know a fact but are mistaken
  4. Ambiguously Informed: those who acknowledge that they are just guessing

After being asked a series of questions, the participants were shown the related fact checks. The fact checks confirmed for the Informed what they already knew and benefitted the Uninformed, Misinformed, and Ambiguously Informed. However, the Misinformed benefitted least from the fact check and were more likely to continue to choose the wrong answer even after reading the fact check. Further, although a story clearly labeled as a fact check helped readers get the facts right, the fact check label also led people “to become more likely to report that the fact-check was biased.”

As examples like those above indicate, it seems that people may be content or predisposed to simply accept and share information that is misleading or false, even when we have good reason to believe that the information is misleading or false. This counterintuitive behavior opens wide a door for those who wish to spread misleading and false information as a kind of prank or to advance an agenda. Imagine, however, if more individuals embraced the behaviors of a modern Devil’s Advocate and took the initiative to employ informed skepticism and a little critical thinking.

I’m hopeful that a larger presence of modern Devil’s Advocates in society can help serve as an effective barrier against the flood of misinformation that spills out of our connected devices every day. Perhaps the behaviors of individual modern Devil’s Advocates can also influence others to rely upon evidence-based claims and to refute divisive drivel?

Is Devil’s Advocacy Effective?

Devil’s Advocacy has certainly had its critics from its early inception to today. Undoubtedly, Devil’s Advocacy has not always achieved its intended goals over its centuries of use by the Catholic Church.

More recently, the secular community has also questioned the effectiveness of Devil’s Advocacy. Of the various criticisms raised against Devil’s Advocacy today, perhaps the most common one is that it is a form of inauthentic dissent that can be more harmful than useful. For example, Heuer and Pherson note that,

“If group members see the Devil’s Advocacy as an analytic exercise they have to put with…this exercise may actually enhance the majority’s original belief.”

Likewise, psychologist Dr. Charlan Nemeth, who has researched and written about the value of dissent, has stated that,

“Role-playing may actually thwart serious consideration of new alternatives. Armed with the possibly incorrect belief that other options have been considered, thoughts may corroborate one’s initial belief and confidence may be inflated.”

Such criticism of inauthenticity is reinforced when Devil’s Advocacy is framed as a form of role-playing (see Framing Bias in Chapter 2). Of course, declaring that playing Devil’s Advocate is inauthentic dissent is a bit like saying that playing doctor is inauthentic medicine. Someone simply going through the motions of Devil’s Advocacy without investing any effort in thinking and analysis, is like a physician who nods her head as you relay your symptoms while she’s preoccupied with what she’s going to have for lunch. The Devil’s Advocacy discussed in this book has nothing to do with role-playing, so other than this paragraph we won’t again mention “playing Devil’s Advocate”.

Psychology defines authenticity as, “…the extent to which people act coherently with themselves,” but how can we know whether or not dissent is authentic? I don’t know of any instrument that reliably and objectively reveals authentic dissent like a digital thermometer reveals body temperature – although that would be a really neat gadget!

Even when a person’s authenticity isn’t known, effective dissent can still be provided. Defense lawyers, for example, typically don’t know the actual guilt of their clients when they argue their clients’ cases. When successful, these lawyers create reasonable doubt in a judge or jury that has no way of knowing the lawyer’s authenticity regarding his case relative to his internal beliefs about his client’s guilt.

You may view the creation of a counter position based on premises that you promote but doubt as unseemly and cynical. However, our adversarial legal system requires staunch counter positions to enable a vital critical examination of facts and claims before a judgment is rendered. This same kind of useful opposition outside of a courtroom is what Devil’s Advocacy can provide.

Just as a lawyer requires experience and knowledge to practice law, a modern Devil’s Advocate may require specific domain expertise, depending upon the position that they will challenge. For example, in a company that is developing a new drug, experience and knowledge in pharmaceutical science is necessary if the position that will be challenged is scientific. Likewise, issues related to marketing and selling the new drug would need those who are familiar with the marketing rules of the regulated drug industry. In some instances, challenges can be made by teams that are composed of members who possess specific subject matter aptitude (e.g. marketing, sales, operations) – a Red Team approach. In other instances, a lone Devil’s Advocate without specific expertise can quickly create a useful counter position.

Devil’s Advocacy has been suggested for various policy decisions while acknowledging the challenges that modern Devil’s Advocates will encounter. An article in Foreign Policy about the government response to a pandemic observed that (bold is mine),

“Governments and companies knew about the risk of a pandemic, but they did too little. To prevent the next one, they need designated devil’s advocates on the state payroll… The problem is: Who’s going to point out that the seemingly sensible strategy won’t work? In most organizations, that person is a self-appointed devil’s advocate, whom everybody dislikes because he or she sees the gaps in everyone else’s ideas or decisions.”

Of course, the fact that Devil’s Advocacy may face stiff opposition does not mean that the practice should be avoided. It’s also important to know that even thought-leaders who question the value of Devil’s Advocacy acknowledge that “…compared to groups with no counterpositions, it [devil’s advocacy] can provide benefit.” Further, there are real-world examples of Devil’s Advocacy, including several that were identified in an article about anecdotes to groupthink,

“Numerous organizations use some form of devil’s advocacy. For example, Royal Dutch Petroleum regularly uses a devil’s advocacy approach. Before making a major decision, such as entering a market or building a plant, Anheuser-Busch assigns some group the role of critic with the purpose of uncovering all possible problems with a particular proposal and making a case for each side of the question. IBM has a system that encourages employees to disagree with their bosses. The thinking is that a devil’s advocate who challenges the CEO and top management team can help sustain the vitality and performance of the upper echelon of the organization. All of these companies have the same goal: improve organizational performance by institutionalizing dissent.”


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