As one of today’s most-quoted diversity speakers, it’s hard to underscore enough the importance in business and leadership of building teams wherein different ages, backgrounds, cultures, genders and skill sets are represented. Not only is it the right thing to do: It’s also the most innovative and intelligent, as any seasoned management executive or strategic innovation consultant can explain. Whether an entrepreneur, corporate leader or head of an association or organization, it’s vital to remember: Succeeding today demands the kind of flexibility and innovation you can only gain by enjoying multiple perspectives, insights and approaches into tackling any given problem.
Successful businesses of any kind – be they scrappy young startup, emerging disruptor, or Fortune 500 market leader – understand the importance of cultivating diversity, because of the myriad of perspectives it brings. The more viewpoints you can bring to bear on any given problem, the more potential solutions (and better choices) you’ll find. Likewise, forward-thinking leaders and managers know that when we surround ourselves with individuals with the same talents, it may improve our social standing, but not our business intelligence. If all we do is hire people with similar skill sets and perspectives, we continue to remain weak in areas that could otherwise be filled in by inviting those with outside experience and complementing talents to join the team.
Yes, we all have to ultimately buy into the same vision – that’s the glue which holds any organization together, and drives it towards achieving its mission statement. But you don’t need a professional diversity speaker to tell you: The more sources of sound advice and broader the range of experience and talents we can turn to when a problem presents itself, the better off we are. That’s the kind of insight you can’t gain by simply surrounding yourself with people of similar interests, backgrounds and capabilities. But we digress: As you’ll see in the clip which follows, it’s a point best explained straight from the horse’s mouth – click play to learn why different truly is good for every individual and business.