Why Diversity in the Workplace Promotes Innovation and Problem Solving

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Black History Month is here, and at CultureIQ we feel it’s imperative to celebrate diversity. Diversity comes in all aspects of life: ethnicity, gender, socio-economic standing—the list goes on and on. Every person on your team brings a unique perspective to their role, which is why it’s critical to utilize people from different backgrounds. Engaging with people from a variety of backgrounds is not only good for the soul; it’s great for business. Here’s why leaders should champion diversity in the workplace.

Diversity in the workplace generates innovation

Diversity can be inherent (traits you are born with) and/or acquired (your experience, background, etc.). Having a strong representation of both types of diversity is considered two-dimensional (2D) diversity, and HBR found that companies practicing 2D diversity out-innovate and out-perform others. Think about it in this light, employees have varying experiences, which they can tap into to think up great ideas. This in turn creates a channel of thinkers who can dream up innovations you may not have even considered. Employees at these companies are 45 percent likelier to report that their firm’s market share grew over the previous year and 70 percent likelier to report that the firm captured a new market. Even better, diverse groups are better problem solvers.

Problem solving masterminds

As Einstein once said, “We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” The same goes for solving problems in the workplace. When stuck with a problem or idea at work, you may be too close to the issue to solve it on your own. This means that fresh sets of eyes may be to ticket to a solution. If you see things in blue, you’ll only look for a blue solution. Your team may think in yellow and will produce yellow solutions. Add these together and you will find that through collaboration, green was the answer all along. By adding different perspectives and viewpoints, you will find a solution that would not have been possible without the diverse opinions of your people.

Diversity and inclusion are critical to the success of progressive companies. People have different life experiences due to their backgrounds, which provides different approaches to their ideas at work. Coming together with new solutions born out of the collaboration of different minds is beneficial to organizations. When you embrace diversity in the workplace, innovation reigns supreme, creating a phenomenal organization.

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