Painful times of crisis, be it for the economy, politics, and the explosive mixture of it with systematic blaming of “others” rather than ourselves for failing to challenge the world we live in. Boundaries, frontiers, restrictions, issues, shortage, everyone is trying to scale down humanity to rights, papers, money, flows, data… limits. Painful times where educated, open-minded and once brilliant individuals start to claim “my people, my country first” as if they had forgotten how open the world had been to them, how the rest of the world once even saved them. Same old issues and struggles we need to sort out as one, but diverse. And this is where we need innovation to stand out. This is where I believe innovation needs to erase limits and replace them with opportunities.
Diversity as a tool for innovation
This insight from Forbes takes you through the necessity of diversity to succeed in a globalised and challenged economy. Diversity is presented as a key enabler for innovation, through attracting and retaining top talents, but also highligths that employment plans and strategies based on innovations need further support from senior executives, and very few changes are foreseen for the next few years regarding diversity for strategies and businesses. This view should be analysed and challenged by diversity champions who managed to successfully use combined cultural-knowledge-based problem-solving views from their employees and senior managers to drive innovative strategies. And we are the ones who can make it happen.
Diversity as a mind-opener for those “locked-in”
In this article, Diversity Inc shows how having a diverse workforce helps keeping closer to market realities, connecting dots between different views, knowledges and sectors, enabling creativity to spur beyond current limits of business barriers to markets. It provides evidence that thinking problems through different points of view help defining better solutions. The article also shows how implementing an inclusive work environment help develop creativity from diversity using freedom of thoughts, cross-pollination, ingenuity, competency and outcomes.
Diversity as a way to remind yourself who you are
Lauren Leader-Chivee has found out how diversity was also a way to sustain innovation on the long-term as it is key in creating serial innovation. In her article for INC, she explains how two-dimensional diversity offers new and better understood market opportunities, raising efficiency by up to 158%. Companies then need to build a “speak-up’ culture whereby employees have equal listening times, make decisions with the right risk taking initiatives, get constructive and supportive feedbacks, as well as credit for team work.
Diversity as a way to tell people where to go
As this article from The Guardian suggests, diversity shouldn’t only concern the global companies workforce but also and perhaps more importantly senior executives. As Dr Sylvia Ann Hewlett puts it, “The top sets the tone: at companies where executives have two-dimensional diversity, leaders at all levels are 74% more likely to exhibit the inclusive behaviours that foster a speak-up culture, unlocking innovation”. This has visible impact on market share rise and opening new markets.
Diversity as a way to learn and grow
In 2011, Deloitte already published an interesting review and complimentary article about the assets brought by diversity to companies. They quote Don Knauss, Chairman and CEO of the Clorox Company, who says about the U.S. : “The business case has been demonstrated quite thoroughly. When you’ve got people in this country as people of color, a diverse workforce benefits in terms of connection and creativity.” James White, president and CEO of Jumba Juice follows-up by adding: “Their workforce will view the world differently. They will come up with better solutions and be more effective in the market by seeing opportunities that others in the industry do not see”.
Innovation, organisation, education, politics, society, WAI believes above theories applies for all. So, dear world, can you please stop making diversity painful and start making it creative.