Diverse In Thought As Well As Action
Cincinnati, OH | Posted: 08/11/2016 | Author: April Koenig
Everybody knows that diversity in the workplace is essential in best reflecting today’s world. But diversity means much more than just accurately representing updated demographics of those that were previously denied opportunities. Matters of diversity should be addressed holistically, with all facets being represented. Far from just window dressing or quota filling, diversity should also include a variety of thought and viewpoint. Surrounding an issue or problem with ideas coming from all sides is the best way to form innovative solutions for success in today’s business world. Utilizing the following guidelines can make the workplace not only look diverse, but think diverse as well.
Stop the Groupthink – The stated business goals of a company should be the hub all employees strive to meet. However, there should be many routes to this stated hub, and all should be explored. Resist the temptation of hiring only those that conform to the same opinion and follow the same line of thought. Groupthink can kill the innovation of a company and silence those that think outside the box. You should have a variety of personality types and backgrounds at the table. Problems are solved by analytical and creative minds alike, from a variety of educational and societal upbringing. Nes Diaz-Uda, senior consultant at Deloitte Consulting LLP says "A lot of organizations drive toward consensus, but we’re trying to say, 'hey, that's not the best way of doing things,'".
Find The Right Combo – The best way to take advantage of the diverse tools at your disposal is to know them well. Take note of each employee’s strengths and weaknesses. Does this issue call for someone more analytical? A wordsmith? A competent manager should be able to move the chess pieces to a successful business checkmate. Knowing your team better helps you to leverage their unique talents.
Create The Environment – If employees are afraid to speak up, fresh ideas wither on the vine rather than blossom into success. This success begins with the tone you as a superior set. Don’t be close-minded to an idea that may seem different, rather foster the kind of thinking that promotes new insight. Giving employees a forum for honest and open feedback and ideas leads to a free flow of solutions.
It Starts At The Beginning – Make sure there isn’t a hard and fast set of rules when hiring employees. Obviously there may be skill requirements to get them in the door for an interview, but listen to their thought process when answering questions. If they give a different but thoughtful answer than the one you expect, take that style and mindset into consideration.