Diversity - A Masterpiece to Behold! Spring 2018
Have you ever admired a vibrant bouquet of spring flowers? Instantly your eye is drawn to one or the other type of flower, its color, texture and scent. But you also look at the overall picture that the bouquet makes. The combination of colors, the variety, and the shape can evoke feelings beyond those caused by an individual flower.
I think of diverse teams and diversity in the workplace much in the same way. Individually we have talents, abilities and expertise that shine in the workplace. We know that given an opportunity to work among others equally as gifted but with differences in backgrounds, personalities, and approaches, we can draw from a broader swath of perspective and experience. But beyond that, there is an exponential increase in creativity, problem-solving, efficacy and even productivity. Why is that?
Researchers have studied how we as humans share resources. They found that regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, people typically choose to share between 40 and 50% of their knowledge. The abilities that one individual brings to the team help draw out the expertise of others, and vice versa. In a truly collaborative environment, with the free exchange of ideas and possible solutions, your thoughts, background, and perspective may challenge a team-mate to expand their thinking and their approach to work. As the team dynamic evolves so does the ability to think collectively and solution corporately. As the team shares ideas, recruits supporters and socializes your work, you appeal to a wider audience because of the diversity of your advocates all with unique approaches to promoting the team’s work.
Diversity has been the corporate “Buzzword” for some time and with good reason – gender and racial gaps are no longer acceptable. Corporate America has started to realize that today’s environment demands more equal footing for underrepresented groups. They realize that if we take time beyond simply checking the diversity box, just like a beautiful, colorful spring bouquet of flowers, diversity can make teams stronger, leaner, and exponentially more successful. And that’s always a beautiful thing.