Diversity is key to innovation and growth in the global economy. Diverse problem-solving groups outperform high-ability groups. Companies with diverse executive teams have a higher return on equity and are more attractive to job candidates. Initial supporters are key to innovation, and diversity and teamwork are necessary for success.
We live in a globally connected economy. Thanks to the accessibility of technology worldwide, an unknown company can disrupt established organizations. Innovation and creativity are more important than ever, especially when combined with a vital ingredient - Diversity.
Last week, I presented the keynote speech for CDW’s HOLA BRG Hispanic Heritage month event. It was great to present to a full house of both on-site and remote teams.
Why innovating with an accent? Well, as you may know, an accent is something you develop when you learn a different language. Accentsare very easy to recognize, not so easy to drop. Why? The roots of your mother tongue run deep. The sounds, intonation, and phonetics you are familiar with takeover.The same happens in innovation.
When creating something new, we all have accents. We bring our upbringing, education, and attitudes to the table. It's hard to see thingsfor what they are; without filtering them through the lens of our experiences.Diversity can help uncover the truth.
Groups of diverse problem solvers outperform groups of high-ability problem solvers, according to research from Lu Hong and Scott E.Page published by the National Academy of Sciences. What does this mean? Diversity trumps ability.
Several studies have shown the positive impact of diversity in the workplace.
Like wearing new prescription glasses, companies that embrace diversity are able to see new opportunities.
Inventors and Innovators need people that believe in their ideas. It doesn't matter if this is happening inside your company or to a lone individual. These initial supporters are key. Inside the company, they can be mentors or managers. Outside the company, they can be early adopters or investors. Enter Phil Romano, a restauranteur and initial supporter of the first balloon-expandable stent. What does the founder of Macaroni Grill and Fuddruckers have to do with one of the inventions that changed the world? He invested in the idea when traditional medical device firms said no.
Dr. Julio C. Palmaz, MD pitched his early idea to medical device companies and he only got rejections. Why? They didn't see the early idea for what it could be. It's the same reason why Blockbuster didn't buyNetflix for $50 million dollars. It's hard to accept that the status quo might change and that the change can come from an unlikely place.
Diversity and teamwork are necessary to win in today’s interconnected society. It's hard to innovate in a vacuum and people want tobelong to a team that supports their efforts.
It was an honor to be invited back to present to such a diverse and engaged group from CDW and I look forward to their feedback.