Yes! This is a pervasive phenomenon in individuals, groups and organisations. It has also been dramatically witnessed in criminal investigations when witnesses prove to ‘see’ what they expected to see! Behavioural economics has studied a variety of factors influencing what they term ‘predictable irrationality’, whereby people are not aware of the influence that their preconceptions have on how they see and act. Within change initiatives, established cultural frames are often remarkably persistent in imposing partial and misleading interpretations of the nature and effect of the changes.
Yes! We ignore the existence of pervasive defensiveness and denial when individuals, groups or organisations are faced with embarrassing or threatening questions. Organisational silence is a complex and all too common phenomenon, ranging from cricket establishments failure to prevent pervasive cheating, to financial institutions refusal to identify and take responsibility for malpractice. Change initiatives are far from immune to the silencing of criticism