Diverse thinking means being prepared to consider things differently, with a different lense and being open to opportunities. In any business, we have challenges, problems that need a solution and always need to be thinking.
A famous saying that has been used by the likes of Henry Ford, Tony Robbins and Albert Einstien is “If you always do what you‘ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”
If you want your business to be dynamic, ahead of the curve and at the forefront of your industry, consider how diverse thinking can help.
Imagine sitting in a boardroom, you need to launch a new product, this needs to be something cutting edge, something that appeals to the mass market, something that is going to revolutionise the industry.
If we are sitting around that table all suited and booted, being very rigid and surrounded by a team of clones-people who have similar life experiences, the same kind of background and crucially who all think like you, Are you likely to be creative? Are you going to be able to think about the diverse nature of your customer base? Or, are you going to hit a brick wall?. Do you have the right army of people around you to make diverse decisions?
In a room full of “experts” you’ll get a whole load of expert opinions and insights. Fill a room full of engineers (or any profession) and you’ll likely get very detailed ideas and technical data. What if we filled the room full of people with different perspectives and ideas? Chances are you will see some different ideas, the conversation is also likely to go in a direction you had never considered.
If we are to progress with the diversity and inclusion agenda-we need to change our thinking.
We need to move away from seeing diversity and inclusion as series of problems that need to be solved, data that needs to be gathered and a stick to beat businesses with, we need to focus on the value that having a diverse workforce can bring, we need to be strong enough to shake up the structure of our board members and we need to be prepared to change the way we do things.
Often, if you ask someone why they do something in a particular way you will get a puzzled look and a reply that goes something like this, “It’s always been done this way” Now, I am not saying you should scrap everything you are doing and spend a lifetime reinventing the wheel, just that you should take time to consider if there is a different way you could look at things.
Diversity and inclusion is not just the domain of HR or about handing over responsibility to one person, it is the responsibility of everyone within a business. Diversity and inclusion needs to be led from the top, employees will look up the structure of the business and look at your actions, your behaviours and your commitment. If you are expecting your employees to champion diversity and inclusion and create an inclusive environment, then start with behaviours, beliefs and actions of your leadership team.
Shaking up the boardroom and “the way we do things around here” might make for some uncomfortable decisions, some actions you never thought you would take and giving up some responsibility but, it can also give your business a fresh perspective, make you more competitive and add significant value. Remember what they say, a change can do you good. Diverse Thinking could release untapped potential.