Diversity is an oft-mentioned word in organizations. Some people joke and/or complain about diversity hiring, from being mandated to do so or being that token person of a different background. Regulations in hiring aside, there is more to diversity than simply being different.
Diversity is the spice of life. It is that which can spur creativity and innovation. How do we grow and prosper if we cannot dream or conceive? How do we create if we cannot consider other aspects?
Take a bouquet of flowers as an example. If you get the same dozen roses over and over and over again, what happens? Most people get bored with the same thing occurring repeatedly, become indifferent to the scent, and turn a blind eye to the beauty that is within each petal.
In nature, there are over 400,000 types of flowering plants. What happens when you take that bouquet of roses and start adding in different flowers here and there? The bouquet takes on a different life. There are a multitude of scents and stunning visuals. The options become innumerable on the combinations that can occur.
So, what happens when your school, government office, business, team, etc. is filled with one kind of individual? There is a whole lot of stagnant sameness going on. Growth is stunted because everyone thinks the same, believes the same.
Statistically, diverse teams are 35% more productive. A recent study found that companies with diverse management teams saw a 19% increase in revenues. Diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform the national average (within their industry). There are many more statistics proving the benefits of diversity.
Diversity alone is not enough either.
It really does nothing to simply bring on people from all walks of life. I once had someone tell me “I hired a few [minorities] and a couple women. When can I expect to see these increases?”
… Seriously? It just doesn’t work that way. Please don’t make me eye-roll out loud.
Inclusion is key to harnessing the power of diversity. Honest inclusion. This means encouraging opinions and thought processes. Encouraging everyone to engage and participate in decision-making processes. Getting input from all. And genuinely, actively listening to what everyone has to say.
Some of the most amazing inventions were once ridiculed as being too outlandish or unrealistic.
“We are all different, which is great because we are all unique. Without diversity, life would be very boring.”Catherine Pusifer
Is your organization truly diverse? Is every opinion or idea actively heard and contemplated? How is your employee engagement and retention? How are your growth and profits?
Want to learn more about incorporating diversity and inclusion? Send me an email.
Life and Leadership are my passions. We are all droplets in the ocean of life. All it takes is one drop to create a ripple, that then creates a wave.
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