“If two people were exactly alike, one of them would be unnecessary.”
It’s an old adage and it has been said many different ways and attributed to many different people over the years, but its truism always remains the same. If we all thought alike, came from the same background and had the same experiences, we’d have to redefine the word “progress”, because there probably wouldn’t be much.
For the most successful problem solving, we believe it’s important to build teams of people who think differently, who are willing to look at the problem from all sides and who bring their diverse experiences with them to the table. This ensures that as everyone rises to the challenge they put forward a different perspective. And, it is this multi-faceted view that can best inform the thinking and lead to the big “Aha!” and ultimate, optimal solution.
We’ve seen this type of dynamic team deliver heightened results for years. And that’s why we build all of our teams the same way: assembling brilliant thinkers who bring passion, expertise and different points of view/backgrounds to address and solve our clients’ unique problems.
How a diverse team can increase your results.
Don’t just take our word for it. These scientific studies back it up.
- According to the Harvard Business Review study The Female Factor, a diverse group of men and women created the best results in collective intelligence as opposed to a homogenous group of males or females.
- A study conducted by two professors from University of Illinois and The Ohio State University found that individuals who knew they were going into a group meeting with a person who had an opposite view as theirs prepared more and worked harder prior to the meeting.
- Margaret A. Neale, professor with an expertise in organizational behavior, states in this article, “What feels good may not always reflect the performance of the team.” She further explains, “In fact, teams with a very stable membership deteriorate in performance over time because members become too similar in viewpoint to one another or get stuck in ruts.”
- Margaret A. Neale partners with Elizabeth Mannix to highlight the importance of diversity of thinking in their abstract What Differences Make a Difference. “By contrast, underlying differences, such as differences in functional background, education, or personality, are more often positively related to performance—for example by facilitating creativity or group problem solving—but only when the group process is carefully controlled.”
- The McKinsey Study, Diversity Matters, reveals that gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to financially outperform and ethnically diverse companies are 35% likely to financially outperform their non-diverse counterparts. It goes on to say, “The unequal performance of companies in the same industry and the same country implies that diversity is a competitive differentiator shifting market share toward more diverse companies.”
This is just a snapshot of the research linking team diversity to heightened results. But it clearly supports what we’ve experienced over the years. Bring a diverse group of brilliant minds to the table and you too will experience a boost in effectiveness, creativity and ultimately ROI.