We’ve all read recent articles from McKinsey, Gartner, Forbes and HBR about how diversity and innovation are closely linked and how diverse organisations are more productive and profitable. The impact on transformational change is equally compelling – organisations that have a diverse workforce tend to be more successful at change. It’s not just diversity across the more commonly traits of age, gender, ethnicity, race and sexual orientation but other types of diversity are equally important: industry backgrounds, specialisms, career paths, experiences working in different cultural settings. Research has shown that diverse teams are more innovative and creative than homogeneous teams because they bring a wider range of perspectives, experiences, and ideas to the table. When people from different backgrounds and cultures work together, they bring different ways of thinking, problem-solving, and approaching challenges. This diversity of thought can lead to more creative and effective solutions to complex problems.
In addition to bringing different perspectives, diverse teams can also challenge assumptions and biases that may be holding back innovation. By exposing different ways of thinking and working, diverse teams can foster a culture of curiosity and open-mindedness, which is essential for innovation.
However, simply having a diverse team is not enough to ensure successful transformation. It is also important to create an inclusive environment where everyone’s voices are heard and valued. This means ensuring that everyone has equal opportunities to contribute, regardless of their background or identity, and that there are no barriers to participation or advancement.
But if this is so true why aren’t more organisation and transformational leaders doing more to attract and retain a more diverse workforce? One of the main barriers to attracting a more diverse talent pool is the pervading culture of an organisation – if the C-Suite aren’t committed to diversity that will be apparent through the interview processes and via informal networks of connections. Additionally does any organisation activity promote and reward the required behaviours (agreeability, challenging, action-oriented) thereby fostering the culture they need?
At Peru we believe this is an imperative and forms a key part of who we are and what we want to be – we are far from diverse organisation we need to be but the board and management team are committed to making the changes necessary as we see this as fundamental to our own growth plans and our ability to deliver the highest quality outcomes for our clients.
"EBIT margins for companies with diverse management teams were nearly 10% higher than for companies with below-average management diversity"
What are you and your organisation doing today to build more diverse teams to help drive innovation and transformation success? Here are a summary of the reasons why diversity is so important:
- Diverse perspectives lead to more innovative ideas: When you have a team with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, you have a wider range of ideas and approaches to draw from. This can lead to more innovative solutions to business problems and opportunities.
- Diversity leads to better decision-making: Studies have shown that diverse teams make better decisions than homogeneous teams. This is because they are more likely to consider a wider range of factors and viewpoints, leading to more thoughtful and informed decisions.
- Diverse teams are better equipped to serve diverse customers: In today’s globalized economy, businesses need to be able to serve customers from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. Having a diverse workforce can help businesses better understand and meet the needs of their customers, which is critical for long-term success.
- Diversity helps attract and retain top talent: In today’s competitive job market, talented employees are looking for workplaces that value diversity and inclusion. By prioritizing diversity in business transformation efforts, companies can attract and retain top talent, leading to a more productive and successful workforce.
- Diversity promotes a culture of innovation: When companies prioritize diversity and inclusion, they create a culture that values different perspectives and encourages innovation. This can lead to a more dynamic and creative workplace that is better able to adapt to changing market conditions and technological advances.
Diversity, innovation and transformational change are interconnected. Diverse teams can bring a wider range of perspectives, experiences, and ideas to the table, leading to more innovative and creative solutions. However, creating an inclusive environment is essential to ensuring that everyone can contribute to the fullest extent of their abilities.