Six reasons why you want diversity on your team
“Diversity: The art of thinking independently together.” - Malcolm Forbes
That diversity is at the forefront of importance in the business community is an understatement. It’s as much a part of the conversation now as it’s ever been. Yet sadly, there are still some who are slow to understand the benefits of a diverse team.
Writing for Teamable, Melissa Suzuno highlights some impressive statistics as it relates to diversity and inclusion on your leadership team. Here are a few of her findings: 67 percent of candidates want to join a diverse team, 57 percent of employees want to prioritize diversity, inclusive companies enjoy 2.3 x higher cash flow, 35 percent of diverse companies outperform homogeneous ones, and 70 percent are more likely to capture new markets.
As impressive as these statistics are, it leads us to the questions- why are some organizations still slow in embracing diversity on their teams? We would like to offer six reasons why you should.
TO CREATE NEW MARGINS FOR GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY
Any organization seeking to expand its growth and opportunities should see diversity and inclusion as the starting point. Diversity on your team creates the margins you need to make that happen. With greater diversity and inclusion comes a larger net, greater reach, greater potential, and more success. It’s a leader’s secret sauce that’s really not a secret at all. It’s the lifeblood of your organization.
TO ELIMINATE STAGNANT THINKING
Nothing will sink an organization faster than a group-think mentality and stagnant thinking. When creativity is waning or gone, and everyone is thinking alike you’ll soon discover no one is really thinking at all. Diversity allows you to challenge old assumptions and creates more options. Stagnant thinking says, “this is the way we’ve always done it”, while diversity says “we can and we will do better.” Diversity of thought and ideas gives you leverage that will elevate you to the next level. Embrace it!
TO MAXIMIZE OUR POTENTIAL FOR SUCCESS - THE MORE VOICES AT THE TABLE THE STRONGER WE ARE
Organizational leaders need to understand that the more voices you have at the table the stronger you will be. Those same few voices will continue to deliver those same predictable decisions. The expansion of creativity and diversity of ideas will only come to fruition with the inclusion of more people who can contribute to your organization’s success.
TO TAKE EGO OUT OF THE EQUATION
If you lack diversity on your team, chances are you have surrounded yourself with “yes” people. This is great for your ego, but disastrous for your business. We all have blind spots, areas where we cannot see clearly. Diversity on your team gives you access to the resources that help bring your blind spots into focus.
TO ENHANCE BUY-IN
If you lack diversity on your team, you will struggle to get widespread buy-in for your ideas and solutions. We all want to feel like we have some control over our work environment. Diversity on your team allows input from a variety of perspectives and provides a sense of inclusion in the process. Buy-in eliminates the “us vs. them” mentality and fosters more of a “look at what we did” pride.
TO PROMOTE ENGAGEMENT
If you lack diversity on your team, you will promote an “us vs. them” mentality. We all want to feel like we are making meaningful contributions at work. An “us vs. them” mentality is the enemy of engagement. Diversity on your team breaks down a perceived division and inspires employees to become engaged in making positive contributions to your organization.
Valuing and promoting a diverse team environment in your business benefits you as the leader, your employees, and the organization as a whole. This diversity creates new margins for growth and opportunity, eliminates stagnant thinking, maximizes the potential for success, takes ego out of the equation, enhances buy-in, and promotes engagement.
As Malcolm Forbes stated in the above quote, the ultimate definition of diversity is “… thinking independently together.” No organization can stand on firm footings without it.
©2018 Doug Dickerson and Liz Stincelli