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Workplace Diversity

Leadership & Management

Right now there is a lot of emphasis on workplace diversity and its all well and good. As leaders we need to support and embrace these values. However, when it comes to being successful in your leadership role we need to remember that physical diversity is literally only skin deep. I suggest that your focus on diversity include diversity of thinking as well.

Why is diversity of thought so important?

When I came home from Vietnam the engineering workplace was almost completely devoid of women. In my 45 years of workplace experience, I have watched a remarkable transition of inclusion. When it comes to product design the science that goes into the product is not gender specific. Next time you visit a museum, take note of the products of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s versus what products look like today. The clunky, crude, appearance of products from that era have been replaced by a sleek and elegant generation of products combining function and form in ingenious ways. If you have been involved in new product development, as I have, you know what drove this transition.

We are coming into another election cycle and the differences in how differently we think are on every channel of the television and social media. This thinking diversity is important to our survival as human beings, as well as in your leadership success. History and current events clearly demonstrate that groups of like-minded people are not always a good thing.

Staffing your team with people who look different will make human resources smile, but focusing on thinking diversity will bring consistent and accelerated success to your worklife.

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