“Empty vessel or the empty vessel approach is a business term describing the negative effects of how one ends up with a worthless outcome when trying to please everyone. The term is more commonly used in psychology and behavior analysis. Worthlessness cannot be measured, but there will be consensus among the participants that the end product does not even come close to the previously desired outcome.

The “empty vessel approach” can be characterized by lack of leadership and unwillingness for the members to take individual responsibility. Larger corporations with many mid-level managers are more easily trapped in this negative spiral where the company essentially becomes a “meeting company”, where most of the employee’s time is wasted away in meetings instead of actually making products or providing services.

On a smaller scale, the empty vessel syndrome can be observed when ordering pizza. Everybody wants a different topping but there is no designated “pizza-master” that will ultimately choose what to order. You end up with one Cheese pizza and one Supreme pizza with everything on it. Nobody gets exactly what they wanted and would have to endure eating a plain pizza or picking off toppings they hate.”

You just hit the nail on its head, folks!

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