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I'd expect that a positive attitude toward "the way things are" would lead to the exact opposite of independent thinking. A workplace where you are not permitted to be negative or unhappy on occasion, is a workplace that squelches independent thought.
There's a CNBC article today about the workplace culture at Facebook, which puts enormous pressure on its employees to present a happy face to the world. The Facebook culture turned human relationships into commodities: people trying to be friends with everybody and win popularity contests in hopes of getting good performance reviews and promotions. Independent thought is all but impossible in such a culture.
Facebook, as you know, is NOT the only company with a culture of mandatory positivity and "alignment with the boss is not an option".
Also as you know, forcing someone to be happy is the quickest ticket to their UNhappiness.
Psychological safety-- that is, freedom to make mistakes, dissent with the boss and, yes, on occasion be a Debbie Downer-- is crucial to developing independent thought. Because only when you know that you're still part of the group and allowed to contribute through your "mismatching", only when you know that a mismatch is not fatal to your livelihood, are you safe to think outside the box.
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