Beautiful Diversity is a series of management reports issued from our global think l@b. Based on thoughts and analyses shared by innovation experts, it intends to provide managers and professionals with actionable tools to generate innovative products and plans based on their personal and team diversity.
Diversity to revive creativity
As a basis to generate new solutions or improve current offerings, creativity is essential for a vast variety of business experts and innovation professionals, especially in times of growing uncertainty as well as increasing uniformity of ideas and approaches to market. Although ideation and product development processes benefit from an information rich and connected way of thinking, nurturing creativity through widened inspirational sources can paradoxically prove difficult in an overwhelming data flow which leaves idea owners with their responsibility in measuring relevancy and accuracy of facts. Embedding information cross-reading and open debates as a communication culture can drastically help individuals identify core roots of differences to select new ideas born from diverging opinions, therefore naturally developing creativity and sense.
Diversity as a management practice enables team leaders and members to maintain operational discussions and brainstorming sessions aligned in a constructive dialog through development processes. In our book, “Diversity as a success story“, we identify the core elements of such dialog to initiate and drive difference virtuous circles based on individual differences mapped through diversity profiles. Managing creativity through such virtuous circles creates a thinking framework to ensure developments align with core values and objectives in the long term, while remaining connected to individual and group activities and priorities in the short term.
How to build a difference virtuous circle
The objective of difference virtuous circles is to outline and monitor ideas and viewpoints as expressed by project stakeholders, team members, customers and partners, to develop creativity based on individual and shared purposes in development processes. Such virtuous circles can be used to shape strategic objectives for development plans or defined discussions with partners, customers and influencers. It should structure conversations and plans to identify new ideas from differences by automating the common understanding of divergences in a constructive manner. For example, based on recent diversity profile defined, a virtuous circle applied to weareinnovation.org would read as follows:
- How do we highlight differences? By curating information that are shared from distinct sectors of the innovation ecosystem, ranging from high education to banks and financial stakeholders, we highlight diverging priorities and standpoints in a cross-pollination intent. Individual experts’ opinions are reflected by capturing their essential ideas and incorporating them in a thematic discussion.
- How do we analyze differences? Many experts have outlined the benefits of storytelling to bring further sense to innovation activities. This blog uses strategic storytelling, i.e story-telling structured as a strategic plan, to analyze differences by identifying core reasons to diverging approaches to markets.
- How do we learn from differences? As an on-going activity, weareinnovation.org curates daily news shared on social networks in parallel of systematically compiling known discussions from experts so far. The global story resulting from this continuous mixture of short term and long term priorities enables the blog to focus on priority themes and recommendations.
- How do we build from differences? The variety of expertise and profiles involved in innovation processes has led to consider specific formats that would inspire different audiences. As a continuous experiment, this blog constantly trials ideas within an engaged innovation community to understand which tone and specific angles benefit to readers.
- How do we adapt common definitions to differences? Because they explore specific components of innovation, experts act as knowledge angels keeping track of developments on given topics and trends. Syndicating views on a common trend by analyzing all recent information leads to redefining markets and concepts in a connected-thinking framework that adapts to change.
- How do we cultivate differences? We simply love meeting new people and scouting for new ideas and projects. Experts outline the need to learn from any profile and any sector, we therefore highlight outsider views along with incumbent and expert findings to again, highlight differences.
Difference virtuous circles can help innovation teams to align on a creativity plan that makes space for open discussions as well as a framework to capture ideas. Using such findings to influence strategic plans and developments can also generate further traction from customers and partners. It also initiates an open-innovation culture that is critically needed to address systemic issues.
weareinnovation.org writes the innovation story developed by thousands of innovation experts around the world on WAI social networks. Browse our knowledge library and read our management reports to learn more.
Photograph: Nirina Photography