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The Abilene Paradox

2nd Edition

Has fear lead you to say "yes" to a proposed group endeavor when "no" was your true response? It's a common dilemma and the reason many organizational efforts fail. This all-time favorite CRM Learning video program depicts individuals who support plans they really don't believe in--leading groups to meaningless, costly outcomes.

  • Prevents false consensus among group members
  • Improves group interactions and decisions
  • Helps team members overcome their fear of speaking out
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Developed and produced in-house by CRM Learning, this title is among the industry's best--reflecting our tradition of excellence and effectiveness. All CRM Learning discounts apply.

Download sample training guide
Includes sample pages from the leader's guide and participant materials.

Abilene Paradox

CRM Produced

Run time: 26 Minutes

Travel the road to Abilene and you'll arrive at a place where deeply held, logical values fall victim to group dynamics. It's a bumpy ride culminating in meaningless outcomes and blame, but you can skip the trip if you know how to read the road signs.

In this age of corporate scandals and lack of accountability, or for even the best of organizations, this parable by Dr. Jerry B. Harvey about a needless family trip to Abilene offers a compelling lesson for groups: Make sure you've received everyone's honest input on the action you're about to take.

People will often "go along to get along" if they have any doubt at all about what will happen if they present opposition. Leaders must create a workplace where people are free to disagree and are encouraged to voice their true opinions.

The workshop includes additional exercises for a flexible design to help participants learn:
  • The five psychological principles of The Abilene Paradox
  • How to avoid false consensus and achieve effective decision-making within a group

This best-selling, classic training program has helped thousands of organizations increase profits and productivity by helping teams make better group decisions.


  • chaptered DVD with Second Edition and First Edition of The Abilene Paradox
  • Leader's Guide PDF
  • PowerPoint Presentation
  • Participant Workbook PDF
  • (Support materials will be emailed to buyers)


Praise for The Abilene Paradox:

"It works for so many topics -- conflict, communication, change, etc. The variety of examples used connects with the audience, and all levels (from entry to management) can relate to the issues brought up."
-Judy Sherkow
-Training Dynamics

Results from using The Abilene Paradox:

"This video program on the work and experience of Jerry Harvey, a social psychologist, has saved me, my family and numerous individuals from going where nobody wanted to go but would have, had they not stopped and asked the question: 'Are we going to Abilene?'...or 'Are we on the way to Abilene and we don't even know it?'. Jerry Harvey, master storyteller, shows how we often get to some place, when nobody wanted to go there in the first place."
-Austin "Ozzie" Gontang, Ph.D.
-Vistage Group Chair and Philosopher
-San Diego, CA

A satisfied customer on The Abilene Paradox:

"The video, which I first saw as a student at a community college in Texas, made a lasting impression on me and so I purchased it as the academic administrator for my present institution."
-Henry Bohleke
-Chair of Business Technologies
-Owens Community College

Read what Training Media Review has to say about The Abilene Paradox

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