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How diversity drives innovation and results

Sandra Smith | April 25, 2017
We need to recognize that diversity is a goal, and agree it’s the right one.

The unexpected, Johansson says, comes from beyond expertise and logic and it’s what makes you stand out. The unexpected is Snapchat: Let’s destroy the pictures you’ve spent so much time taking! The unexpected is promoting your sports brand with ballerina Misty Copeland, not today’s NFL superstar.

To innovate, to adapt, to achieve the unexpected, you could look for opportunities to change the rules. You could create more options by accepting the risk of failure more often. You could stay agile by executing in fast, small steps to mitigate those risks. But you know what you can do that’s a lot more clear-cut? Increase diversity and inclusion in your organization. 

One reason diversity helps us innovate is by providing inspiration from places and perspectives different from our own -- finding inspiration is a lot easier when we actually have people on our team from places and cultures different from our own, whether that means adding people from different countries or bringing women into traditionally male-dominated industries. New ideas come from shifts in perspective, twists on the old by introducing the new, putting together puzzles you’ve never seen before.

By creating diverse teams and focusing not only on their composition but on real inclusion that encourages people to contribute their thoughts and ideas fearlessly, you’ll drive the kind of innovation that fosters unique connections, enables adaptability and drives profitability -- and gets a step closer to that reality we’re aiming for.


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