Just take a quick look at some of the numbers, according to research by McKinsey:
- Companies ranked in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15 per cent more likely to garner financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
- Businesses at the bottom of the pack for both gender and ethnic diversity are not only ‘not leading’ they are actually lagging behind the typical company in their market.
- Organisations with the highest levels of racial diversity are 35 per cent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
- For every 10 percent increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team, earnings before interest and taxes rise 0.8 percent.
We’re excited that the tide is turning. Even a brief look at these numbers shows the undeniable effect of having more diversity in the workplace.
So what is it exactly about diversity that ultimately improves a business’ chance of success? Two words: Diverse thinking.
Diverse team members facilitate diverse thinking styles
When you have a group of similar people running a business, their thinking styles tend to sync. Meaning that, while you may have 20 people sitting in the boardroom, you’re ultimately coming to similar conclusions.
Think of it in terms of a football team. If you have a room full of defensive players, your collective thought patterns will likely lead you to strategies that align with defensive tactics.
However, if you have a few offensive players in the room, a goalie and heck, maybe even a mascot – your decisions will be made with a full spectrum of thinking.
Bottom line: Diversity opens the door for more diverse thought. Differing viewpoints, ideas and insights led to better problem-solving and superior performance.
This diversity of thought also allows companies to better serve increasingly diverse customer bases. Why? Because they can more effectively understand their clients thought patterns and needs.
How can you leverage diverse thinking?
Okay, so we’ve thrown a fair bit of information at you. What should you do with it?
In order for diverse team thinking styles to positively affect your business, you need to recognise them. This means taking the time to pinpoint the different thinking styles within your team and understanding how they add value to your business.
Understanding and recognising different thinking approaches will enable your team members to share their ideas and thought patterns more openly. This freedom jumpstarts team creativity and allows your employees to take advantage of the spectrum of thinking in the office.
The added bonus of thinking diversity is it allows people to thinking about differences in a non-judgmental way. It has nothing to do with personalities or behaviours, it is about the way people prefer to think. It highlights preferences in information processing and opens the pathway for better communication and better team chemistry.
Sounds like some pretty impressive outcomes to us.
Let Herrmann help
Herrmann is here to help businesses get a better grasp on the ‘hows’ of thinking. How do people come to decisions? What do different thinking styles look like? And how can businesses better use the diverse range of thinkers in their organisation to their advantage?
We can help you with all these questions and more. To learn about what the Herrmann team can do for you, reach out to us today! We’re excited to get started.