I think we can all remember a time when we were young, and we did something naughty and were asked by our parents if we did it. There is a good chance that the reflex action of most of us was an unequivocal NO. Or when at school the teacher asked us who made a mess of something and we pointed at someone else even if we had done it. Or after a scolding we started hitting one of our toys.
Well, we do that even today. Just a lot more subtly. And for the same reasons. To protect ourselves. Much like in football where we have team members whose job it is to defend from a goal being scored against their team. But just as in football if all we did was defend; we would never strike a goal. Or in the course of normal life we would never learn and grow.
Organizations/groups too have defenses. At some level they maintain the integrity of the organization/group and ensure its smooth functioning. But if the defenses become too rigid, we get a non-performing bureaucracy where nothing moves, where people feel disengaged and demotivated, where learning ceases, and where over time the very purpose is lost.
How do we spot these defenses and their adverse impact so we can take appropriate course corrections if required?