Innovation and Diversity in the Workforce

Innovation and Diversity in the Workforce

Companies talk about valuing diversity in the workforce. There are so many advantage to diversity for propelling a company’s success. Especially now, people are facing so many difficulties and the stress has been getting to people as the pandemic continues to drag on. Now is the time when you need the support of your colleagues. Now is the time for a new appreciation for all those around you and what each one brings to the table.

Taking Notice of Diversity

My brother and I always felt fortunate to grow up in New York. We lived in a very diverse neighborhood. Our friends were from every where and we didn’t give it a second thought. We had more in common and didn’t really think about the differences. When you are a kid, your views of the world comes from a very innocent and accepting place. When I attended graduate school, there was a course I took about valuing diversity. Basically understanding the differences, respecting cultures and knowing that everyone brings a new perspective to the table. My parents come from very different parts of the world so I grew up seeing cultural differences firsthand. I also saw how they come together to make us stronger.

Innovation

Innovation has been a buzz word for quite some time. If we all thought the same and had the same ideas, where would we be. The short answer is not very far. Bringing people together with varying perspectives and experiences is where great innovation comes from. Tapping into the best that each person has to offer can bring about truly remarkable things. At one of my companies, we practiced lean and a very important role in innovation was referred to as “fresh eyes”. You have someone come in that wasn’t part of the original process and ask what they think. Sometimes when you stare at something too long, you just don’t see it. Fresh eyes can help you identify what’s not working or how to make it better. They have the benefit of coming in without any preconceived notions and they are not as invested in the process. It can alter the course of your direction. People come from different backgrounds and experiences coming together is invaluable. We have to make sure everyone feels they have a role and that there voice is just as important. Fostering innovation is not something everyone does well. However when you do, it’s a vital factor to success.

Learning

Being open to learning from one another. Everyone has their opinions and biases based on a number of factors. The key is to be open to the possibilities and see the value. We can all learn from one another if we are willing. Diversity is what drives innovation and creates a company culture that thrives.

Aligning one’s values with that of the company is a major part of job satisfaction. If diversity is something that is essential for you, it’s worthwhile to explore companies that value it as well. Embracing differences will be truly beneficial throughout your career.