4 responses to “The Tenth Man Strategy, Critical Thinking, and Zombies”

  1. Jeff Sessions


    My question would be why do the other 9 agree? What are the decision processes of the 9: for instance people who are self serving, people with over powering personalities driving the others to a predetermined conclusion, people who have lower self esteem, people who are pressured to go along and thus not disappoint others (especially the leader or perceived leader) in the group and those who have all learned from the a common school of thought or training? All of these push people to group think. We need leadership that recognizes the strengths and weakness of the team and then use their strengths to arrive at the best solution. It takes time, patience and absence of individual pride. If you’ve ever served on a jury with a serious crime to consider these decision making processes of individuals become very apparent.

    To illustrate from the movie, I too was struck with this approach. But I immediately saw that it was flawed. The zombies were able to breach the walls in short order by acting likes ants, piling upon one another until they reached the top and then they flung themselves over the wall in droves. Into an unprepared populace. There was not effective deterrent.

    With some additional analysis with the other 9 involved around the 10th’s idea, I believe that that particular weakness would have been at least considered and other precautions could have been enabled in the likely hood of a breach.

    As leaders and managers we must create an environment that is as free from these flaws as is possible in order to gain the best (not necessarily perfect) solutions. We need each person to free their mind from self imposed constraints and to have security in doing that so that the leader can facilitate (or build) a consensus around the best solution.

    Thanks from bringing up a though provoking topic!

    Jeff Sessions

  2. Marvin

    Hi Breanne Harris it was fun reading your Tenth Man Strategy article.

    At Armis our Certified Armis Instructors teach, then help to develop, critical thinking skills.

    Only in theoretical logic can Zombies exist, in that same realm rain, the sound of a dog whistle, or a 2cc shot of citrus extract can make them disappear. As a child I remember seeing ‘the blob’ only after growing wildly out of control was it discovered that a fire extinguisher was able to ‘shrink’ it.

    The only real logic that seems to follow these types of movies is that the producers are almost always forwarding a political message. Given what you have described of the movie its subtext is thinly veiled.

  3. Intellectual humility, CI, and zombies | Whitebelt CI

    […] If you’ve seen the film World War Z, you may remember the scene in Israel where the Israeli character is driving the jeep and telling his passenger, the Brad Pitt character, about the Tenth Man Strategy used by the Israeli military and intelligence agencies. The basic idea is that if 9 decision makers agree on a course of action, then it is the duty of the 10th person to take the opposing point of view as a safeguard against groupthink. This was my second favorite example in the film of a social engineering strategy that could aid a society in surviving a zombie apocalypse. (My first favorite was the mass scale North Korean tooth extraction campaign. Barbaric but simple, effective, and brilliant.) If you are not familiar, there are a vast array articles and blog posts out there explaining the whole scenario. Here’s a good one. […]

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