Diversity & Inclusion in Business: Diversity of Thought
Having a diverse workforce doesn’t mean just hiring people from various backgrounds, as diversity in the workplace can go beyond the cultural, political and socio-economic and it is the different ways of thinking that empower both the employee and the organisation.
More and more businesses are investing their hard-earned money into creating diverse thinking groups and it has brought them enormous benefits. Seeing how there is still uncertainty about the significance of diversity of thought, I have decided to break it down and clear a few things up.
The Detriment of Tunnel Vision
In business, we always need to look at the bigger picture. Problems arise on a daily basis and we fix them by analysing the issue from different points of view. However, this is impossible if the whole team is looking through the same lens. Analysis from one angle alone limits the quality of a task and the fruit of your team’s labour can easily become bland, static and one-sided. It is with diversity in thinking that we prevent tunnel vision and have a big-picture view of each and every situation.
You Can’t Ignore the Benefits
“Look at any high performing business and you will see diversity of thought behind growth and innovation.” This quote was famously uttered by Antonia Hock, the CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center and she couldn’t be more right. We all know just how important it is to innovate which is made possible by cognitive variety. Encouraging your team to think outside the box will give rise to new ideas which will pave the way for companies to create valuable services and generate great revenue.
Another notable advantage is the accuracy it adds to decision-making. Think of it this way, if you have ten people with the same opinion, overall, you get just one opinion. However, if you have free-thinking brainstormers and innovators, you are bound to have as many inputs as you like. Taking into account all the different perspectives will help you determine how you can lower the risks, increase the benefits and do what’s best for your company.
How to Transform?
If creative abrasion has taken over your business, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and create a dynamic-thinking ecosystem. The best and least costly way to achieve this is to change the way you approach your employees. Encourage each member to have their say and share their true opinion no matter how crazy they think it is. Let them know that each input gives value and contributes to the project. Give praise to anyone who’s looking from different angles and motivate them to carry on doing so. This way, you will establish a sense of freedom that will let your employees be themselves and use their unique creativity to propel your company into greatness.
Another way is to go at this goal from a more analytical approach by using personality assessments. Although this is not the cheapest option, the results it brings justify the price. You will know precisely how each employee thinks and you can build your teams based on that data, which will allow you to gather groups of dissimilar thinkers that will ensure your business shines brightly and uniquely.
The first step to achieving Diversity of Thought in business is to make an effort to fully understand your current employees, their thought processes and ways of working. Once you understand what you already have, it’s much easier to identify what’s missing!
The Change & Culture Club are partnered with Synergy Talent Ltd. Their specialist consultants can help you develop a diverse thinking team that will lead your company to greater innovation and revenue. If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.