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Diversity Shmercity

Diversity and Multidisciplinary Collaboration Where Minds Converge and Possibilities Expand and sometimes bruises occur.

The point of diversity of ideas is to foster innovation, creativity, and well-rounded decision-making. Sounds great. Yet I bet you recall with all the eye rolling of a teenager your uni days when you did all you could to avoid the group assignments, right?

When individuals from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives come together, they bring a wide range of ideas, insights, and approaches to problem-solving. This diversity of ideas helps challenge the status quo, encourages out-of-the-box thinking, and leads to more comprehensive and robust solutions. We know this.

Yet it takes more to accommodate more.

Or does it?

Sometime back I ran a strategy workshop for a marketing team in a national logistics company. The mood was bright and perky. The room contained as much authenticity as ... insert inappropriate reference here. What revealed itself was the discord across the group of 12. Personality was strong, leadership lean and gossip rife. The space was unsafe and as such, no real sustainable work can get done using creativity or adaptability in such conditions. Thank fully, trusty humour can cut through most anything. And it did -long enough for one of my favourite communications processes to roll out.

Four corners of the room; each person must pic a corner accordion to their style of communication. Are you a Connector, a Conciliator, a Driver or a Deliberator? Like all such processes, it's a model not a true representation of life. Yet, without fail this tool brings people together. This 12 saw they were equally represented across the four types of communicators. They saw how critical the extrovert, the feeling, the thinking and the introvert all brought key aspects. By lunchtime I was dealing with a team that had been staunch individuals at the start.

By incorporating diverse perspectives, organizations can avoid groupthink and enhance their ability to adapt to a rapidly changing world. Diverse ideas promote critical thinking, encourage exploration of alternative options, and reduce the risk of overlooking important factors or biases. It enables teams to consider a broader range of possibilities, identify hidden opportunities, and address complex challenges from multiple angles.

Moreover, diversity of ideas and ways of communicating fosters learning and personal growth. Engaging with different perspectives challenges individuals to expand their thinking, question assumptions, and develop a deeper understanding of the world. It promotes empathy, cultural understanding, and the ability to collaborate across differences. Ultimately, embracing diversity of ideas creates an environment where creativity flourishes, innovation thrives, and organizations can achieve greater success in navigating the complexities of today's interconnected world.

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