Know More Diversity!

see url Харабали купить кокаин What’s the first thing you think of at the mention of the term, “diversity?” Do you immediately think of skin color? Gender? Sexual preference? How about Human Resources issues? Litigation? Discrimination? Perhaps, like me, you think of all of these. (Unfortunately, I also use the term “diversity” to describe the weeds in my front lawn. But maybe that’s just me.)

What if there was a kind of diversity that had nothing to do with any of the above, but everything to do with knocking off your competitors?

There is one. But it’s invisible.

When we think of diversity in the workplace, our minds tend to swing into the “identity diversity” mode of race, color, and gender. Are there benefits to this kind of diversity? Of course. But the most powerful form of diversity in the workplace is what some call “cognitive diversity.” And it’s hard to discriminate against it because it can’t be seen.

It’s as valuable as it is invisible. That’s why you need to pay attention.

Scott E. Page, author of the book, “The Difference,” spells it out for us: Organizations that embrace cognitive diversity are some of the most progressive on the planet. They are more effective. They are better at problem-solving. They make more accurate predictions than other organizations. Sound interesting? It should.

source Cognitive diversity is about thinking – not looking – differently. The most powerful agents of change are not intellectually homogenous groups with similar backgrounds. Not at all. The best teams in the world are those which appreciate – and recruit – the cognitive diversity of employees who bring with them the perspectives of engineers, gardeners, philosophers, teachers, religious leaders and the like. Their perspectives form a “mental tool shed” that razes problems and raises solutions.

You engage a new level of riches with people who see the world differently. They observe problems from unique perspectives. They develop creative solutions that might never be discovered by less diverse teams. They learn to respect the unique gifts of each other and they grow closer together.

Organizations which develop cognitive diversity don’t see only the visible spectrum of race or gender. They also benefit from the invisible results of significant growth through increased effectiveness, creativity and problem-solving. Can “identity diversity” benefit an organization? Well yes, it can. But – as always – what’s beneath the skin is where one finds the treasures.

Homogeneity is out. Cognitive diversity is in.

You can build your own cognitively diverse organization: Actively recruit people of varying worldviews, experiences and education. Look beyond hiring for the purpose of fitting a job description. Attract thinkers who see things differently. If they also happen to be of different races and genders, all the better.

To get started, you must begin to think of diversity differently:  You see, cognitive diversity is as blind as a bat… and as wise as the ages.

Perhaps it’s time for all of us to wise up a bit.

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3 Responses to Know More Diversity!

  1. Jeffrey Tobin says:

    It is unfortunate that diversity has become a dirty word…not necessarily because of the intended ends, but because of the challenging means.

    I like your term, “more inclusive” as a way to describe your direction request feedback. Good for you!

  2. Ellen Ruddock says:

    Great article and insight,Jeff. I loved it. It’s true. The most diverse teams are the most productive teams in my experience. Meetings and projects where everyone is seeing things from the same perspective are often a waste of time. Ellen

  3. Tammy Surprise says:

    Amen Jeffrey!

    You touched a bit on my favorite subject of respect vs. diversity. If we respect everyone for what they bring to the table rather than the differences that appear to us, the world (and work place) would be a much better place.

    As an HR Professional, it’s a challenge to convince managers to interview for uniqueness first, then cohesiveness. Because it starts with your existing staff. They must be ready for someone different; that has assets to their weaknesses. The whole Ying & Yang theory scares managers who are not ready to open their minds.

    As always, thank you for a great article. I read all of them.

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