Jason Yip wrote a blog that made me think. I think we'd call this Courage. Or, on an XP team, following our values.

I've worked with teams looking for ways to encourage non-conformist thinking into their discussions/decisions. They wanted to avoid Groupthink. A team becomes vulnerable to Groupthink when it has achieved a harmonious approach to work...and wants to maintain it. Maybe they've just been through a stormy time with lots of disagreements. Maybe they've lately resolved an extended, thorny conflict. Everyone is tired and wants to agree with each other. It's a risky moment in team development. The team may make bad decisions because no one has the Courage to speak up...or gets discounted if they try.

Here's one way to deal with it: Create a working agreement to have a rotating role called Dissenter or Devil's Advocate. The D.A. has responsibility to look for ways to think differently about a problem or issue. To buck the prevailing thought.

The role rotates to keep one person from being tagged with an obstructionist label. Let's face it. There are those among us for whom this comes easier than others. Be fair. Give everyone a chance to be the D.A. :-) It offers all team members an opportunity to stretch their collaboration and critical thinking skills.