When we consider diversity in the workplace, we often react negatively, thinking of being required to hire xx% of employees representing different races and ethnic backgrounds.
Scott Page, the author of The Diversity Bonus, takes a different approach. Instead of pondering moral questions like, “Why can’t we all get along?” he asks; “How can we all be more productive together?”
The answer, he suggests, is in messy, creative organizations with individuals from vastly different backgrounds and life experiences. The issues we face in an ever-expanding world market are complicated. Organizations where everyone thinks the same way become stuck using the same stock solutions over and over again. People from different backgrounds have different ways of looking at issues. Page calls these “tools”. The sum of these tools is more powerful in organizations with diversity than where all the players have attended the same schools, lived in the same environment, and learned to see the world from one point of view.
As you look at adding diversity in your organization, consider Interview questions that will help you detect diverse thinking and an openness to different points of view:
- How high would you say this table is? How did you come up with that answer?
- How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Montana? What did you do to figure that out?
- What is the most challenging aspect of working in a diverse environment?
- What’s your approach to understanding the perspectives of colleagues from different backgrounds?
- Give me an example of how you make your direct reports feel a sense of inclusion, belonging, and equity on a daily basis.
Diversity can increase the bottom line in business.
How can you include different thinkers on your team?
The road is easier together,
Linda Laitala, President
Raven Performance Group