How Human Behavior Can Skew Innovation

A variety of human group behaviors can undermine innovation. For best results, we need to be aware of them and mitigate those that can derail innovation efforts.

Herd behaviour describes how individuals in a group can act together without planned direction. When animals partake in herd behaviour, for example in a dangerous situation, each individual group member reduces the danger to itself by migrating as close as possible to the centre of the fleeing group. The herd thus appears as a unit in moving together, but this action emerges from the uncoordinated behaviour of self-serving individuals.

Herd behaviour is distinguished from herd mentality because it applies to all animals, whereas the term mentality implies a uniquely human phenomenon. Herd mentality implies a fear-based reaction to peer pressure which makes individuals act in order to avoid feeling “left behind” from the group, i.e. to adopt certain behaviours and follow trends. Herd mentality is also sometimes known as “mob mentality.”


Does herd mentality skew innovation?

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