Groupthink is when people come to a poor conclusion – just because they don’t want to upset what they perceive to be the consensus in a group.
This may happen if teams are not well managed. If people are not encouraged to voice divergent ideas, they may feel they need to conform to peer pressure or risk being left out.
Our SME cartoon, “The Brood”, follows a completely different kind of group: a wacky bunch of characters who appear to be possibly suffering from much more serious psychological issues than simple groupthink. The more serious point the rabbit, the hedgehog and the wolf are making is that smaller firms often get left out because the financial sector appears to suffer from groupthink towards the SMEs. This groupthink, or prejudice, appears to be favouring larger companies. And this is exactly what the EIB Group is trying to challenge.
When managed well, groups can easily outperform individual efforts. This is what we are attempting at the EIB Group—which is made up of the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the European Investment Fund (EIF).
The EIF typically supports start-ups and smaller companies in earlier stages of growth. It also provides more guarantees. The EIB typically supports SMEs and mid-caps that are already in their growth or mature stages of development. Both the EIB and the EIF provide equity, while the EIB also provides loans.
Thus working together, the Group last year supported SMEs and mid-caps to the tune of EUR 29.6 billion. This helped around 300 000 companies which provide employment to close to 4 million people.