Leveraging Diversity

I wanted to talk a moment about Leveraging Diversity.

Often, when we go out and hire people, we like the people that are like us and I see it often in teams that I deal with where everybody’s kind of the same.

You have this sort of homogenous group of people who think alike, do alike, play the same sports. They’re very, very similar. And whilst that can be a fun environment to work in, it’s very narrow and diverse teams work really, really well.

If you create an environment where diversity is valued, then you really unlock an extraordinary amount of potential.

I have no idea, for instance, why we still have this debate around women on boards. I mean the science is there, the stats are there. If you have a diverse board from a gender perspective or race or background or religion or whatever it might be, all that diversity creates a melting pot of ideas and background and perspectives.

And I think the reason it works is this perspective’s piece: If there’s an opportunity or there’s an issue, if everybody is looking at it from exactly the same way, then you’re not really dealing with the whole of the issue, the whole of the opportunity or the problem or whatever it is that you might be dealing with. But, if you have people that are diverse in the broader sense of the word, that are looking at it from different perspectives, the left, the right, from here, from there, just different angles on the same thing, you get a much fuller picture of what that opportunity is or what that problem is and some of the solutions that might drive a better outcome for all parties.

So, diversity works.

Don’t hire people like you. Hire people from diversity of backgrounds.

Look for attitude and aptitude. Mix your teams up. If you’re working on a project and you have a number of people to choose from, pull people from different roles. Put people from areas that would not normally be involved in. Give it a bit of variety. It can really help with a fresh perspective, fresh set of eyes.

So, diverse teams work.

I’d encourage you to embrace diversity in its broader sense. Bring it into your teams.

Can be a little harder to manage than having a homogenous, “everyone’s alike” kind of team, but it really does bare dividends when you persevere and bring people of different backgrounds, different experiences together to work on solutions and opportunities in your world.


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