Helena Marsh

It’s a culture of trust, not a cult

For a leader, it can be reassuring when everyone consistently backs up decisions from the top – but is it really healthy? Principal Helena Marsh argues that school leaders need to guard against blind conformity to ensure that decisions are properly scrutinised

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There is a fine line between a strong culture and cult-like conditions. The strength that comes from a common cause can easily tip into a “homogeneity of perspective” that can stifle healthy challenge. It’s something that school leaders have to watch for closely.

So I very much enjoyed reading In Defence of Troublemakers: the power of dissent in life and business by Charlan Nemeth, professor in the department of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. She unravels the science of dissent and exposes the dangers of conformity. The principles of mass coercion by cult leadership that ...

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