Helen Greiner has a lovely list of things she’s learnt about innovation, one of which is “Diversity in the workplace leads to diversity in ideas”. I think she meant that a company whose staff have a diverse set of backgrounds is likely to be more creative in its applications. One of the problems with dinosaurs is that often they are very homogeneous. As an extreme example, take the defence industry in the UK. If the workforce is mainly composed of people who got their security clearances 10, 20 years ago, then that does by definition restrain the types of people that they are: safe, no dodgy pasts, more gays than in the past but still not a representative percentage (please feel free to argue with that if you think I’m wrong), and still not a great percentage of ‘ethnic minorities’, which given the traditional non-inclusive definition of this, I’m taking here to mean people with a non-UK regional or RP accent (there’s no more beautiful indicator of inclusion than someone with an Asian face and a broad Lancastrian accent). The number of women has grown a little; the number of mothers too, but the chances of finding Greiner’s example of a Bosnian Muslim refugee mother of two are still pretty slim.
One thought on “Diversity… and diversity”
Far too often groups build things for them rather than for the customer. Diversity is a good hedge here too in that at least if the group builds something for the group and the group is diverse, there is more chance some customers will like it.
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