#INNOVATION – How #diversity can be used as an engine fostering creativity (the good diversity)


Today the idea that diversity embrace creativity is accepted, and also that diversity can be used for the emergence of new ideas. In a team or company, if you push for more plurality of ideas, you’ll find a creativity-oriented culture. To get more information, an excellent resource is [Where do new ideas come from?] authored by Nicholas Negroponte of the MIT Media Labs.

Nicholas focused his study towards the creation of ideas. Among the several elements that help this objective, diversity is an excellent engine to have a more productive work environment. His advice for the newly graduates is as follows:

My advice to graduates is to do anything except what you are trained for. Take that training to a place where it is out of place and stimulate ideas, shake up establishments, and don’t take no for an answer.

Now, a creative environment goes far beyond a same percentage between men and women. (This is a common mistake, thinking that the term DIVERSITY only applied to the diversity of gender). For me, diversity is mucho more complex. It is important to have people with different technical profiles, with different artistic orientations, with different levels of experience, etc.

This study of Harvard Business Review [How Diversity Can Drive Innovation] identifies 2 types of characteristics to be taken into account: inherent and acquired.

· The inherent diversity involves traits that exist from birth in every person as the gender, race and sexual orientation.

· The acquired diversity implies features linked to the experience of each person, as for example working in another country. This kind of experience will surely help to appreciate the differences between different cultures.

In addition to the inherent capabilities, it is important to develop the acquired abilities to foster innovation. Travel, working with people from other cultures and have an open mind are fundamental points to develop the 2nd point.

The following graph included in “Inclusion Innovation”, is an great representation of how further the concept of Diversity, can be applied at all levels: in a company internal and external from the point of view of consumers.

So, IMHO Diversity is not just to think about gender or race, is a much more complex subject. In a team where the inclusion of different profiles is a common idea, will find more easy to create a more creative environment. Finally, in addition to inclusion, it is important to have a culture of work which should be encouraged:

· Listen to all members of the team. Always called “Easy listening

· Promote an open culture, where it is easy to propose new ideas and where the Feedback is constant

· Share the credit in cases of success and seek solutions together with each error

Something very similar to this I shared some time when I wrote above leading and innovation.

Saludos @ Madrid

/El Bruno


– Nicholas Negroponte, Where do new ideas come from ? http://web.media.mit.edu/~nicholas/Wired/WIRED4-01.html

– How Diversity Can Drive Innovation https://hbr.org/2013/12/how-diversity-can-drive-innovation

– Disruptive Inclusion: From Diversity to Inclusion to Business Impact – Part 2: Disruptive Inclusion through Inclusion Innovation http://www.theinclusionsolution.me/disruptive-inclusion-from-diversity-to-inclusion-to-business-impact-part-2-disruptive-inclusion-through-inclusion-innovation/

– Leaders and innovation… https://elbruno.com/2015/05/15/eng-innovation-leaders-and-innovation/

– The non-easy path from Managers to Leaders https://elbruno.com/2015/03/27/opinion-the-non-easy-path-from-managers-to-leaders/

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