June 04, 2021 2 min read

If something yields the result we want even once, it’s human nature to do that exact same thing again. In general, people are creatures of habit. Just think about how many times you’ve gone to your local coffee shop and ordered the exact same latte. Once you found the mixture of ingredients that your taste buds enjoy the most, you probably chose to stick with that.

However, in business, this “stick to what you know” mentality often means that companies hire the exact same type of employee over and over. The thinking is often that if employee X is doing a great job and everyone gets along with everyone, that the smart thing to do must be to hire more people exactly like them. This mentality leads to hiring managers seeking out candidates that identically mirror their existing workforce. They’ll look for the same educational background and skillsets, source from the same narrow list of companies, and look for similar personality traits during interviews. Before you know it, you end up with an entire staff that looks, thinks, and — to a degree — acts almost exactly the same.

Not only does this tend to result in a reduction in diversity of thought (among other aspects of diversity), but it can prevent the company from realizing its true potential. Fresh new perspectives are necessary to bring forth bold new ideas, challenge long-standing internal thinking, and provide a more complete internal representation of the customer base. In his article, “The Importance of Diversity of Thought,” journalist Rick Bowers writes that big ideas come from unique perspectives. Safe thinking won’t change the world, but diverse thinking can. Think about the impact of inventions like the iPod or the smartphone. Great ideas like those were generated from teams willing to challenge the status quo, to try things untried, and maybe even to fail before wildly succeeding. Most companies say they want their employees to be dynamic thinkers and provide the company with big new ideas. What most don’t realize is that for this to actually happen, you need a wide variety of people engaged in the conversation.

There are many different aspects of diversity. Diversity of thought, as discussed above, is a key factor in building successful teams. Additionally, diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, geographical location, and more should also be embedded into a company’s hiring practices. Anna Powers writes in a 2018 Forbes article that a study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that diversity increases the bottom line for companies. The study also found that “increasing the diversity of leadership teams leads to more and better innovation and improved financial performance.” Particularly amongst management ranks, companies tend to lack the racial diversity that frequently leads to a stronger bottom line, a leadership team more representative of their entry-level staff and the communities they serve, and an increase in creative strategic thinking.

To read the full Harvard Business Review article, click the link below:

https://hbr.org/2021/05/4-lessons-for-building-diverse-teams

Authored by Naomi Wheeless.

Illustration by Ilona Nagy/Getty Images

Alex Waddell
Alex Waddell



Also in Insights

Executive Coaching vs Mentoring
The Differences Between Executive Coaching vs Mentoring

July 31, 2021 5 min read

Executive coaching vs mentoring - which of these is right for you and your team? You already know your people are your most valuable resource - which is why you want to invest in them and help them grow. But should you go with an executive coach or a mentor? What are the differences between mentoring and coaching?

Executive Coaching Best Practices
The Top 10 Executive Coaching Best Practices

July 21, 2021 6 min read

Before you hire an executive coach, you need to be well aware of what it takes to truly see a return on the investment. There are some best practices you must follow when working with an executive coach to get the most bang for your buck - which is important if you're allocating business funds towards this.

Is Executive Coaching Worth It
Is Executive Coaching Worth It For A Business?

July 01, 2021 7 min read

You have so many different areas you can invest in your business - specifically, your employees - which begs the question, is executive coaching worth it?

We're going to take a deep dive into the pros and cons of an executive coaching relationship to help you understand what you're really getting yourself into before you pull out your checkbook or business credit card.

Want to hear more from us?