Harvard Business Review Repost: Why diverse teams are smarter

Striving to increase workplace diversity is not an empty slogan — it is a good business decision. A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean….

In recent years a body of research has revealed another, more nuanced benefit of workplace diversity: nonhomogenous teams are simply smarter. Working with people who are different from you may challenge your brain to overcome its stale ways of thinking and sharpen its performance.

David Rock and Heidi Grant at the Neuroleadership Institute make the argument in this article that diverse teams can not only improve outcomes, but are actually better at making complex group decisions.

Read more here.

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New York Times RePost: Not leadership material? Good. The world needs followers.

 If college admissions offices show us whom and what we value, then we seem to think that the ideal society is composed of Type A’s. This is perhaps unsurprising, even if these examples come from highly competitive institutions. It’s part of the American DNA to celebrate those who rise above the crowd. And in recent decades, the meteoric path to leadership of youthful garage- and dorm-dwellers, from Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg, has made king of the hill status seem possible for every 19-year-old. So now we have high school students vying to be president of as many clubs as they can. It’s no longer enough to be a member of the student council; now you have to run the school.

Yet a well-functioning student body — not to mention polity — also needs followers. It needs team players. And it needs those who go their own way.

Susan Cain, the author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” makes the case  in this post to truly recognize and value the Type B’s, team players, and lone wolves among us that keep the world turning. Is ‘leadership potential’ the be-all, end-all of a valuable employee? Nice though it is to have, no.

So here’s to those that follow the leaders with quiet competence, and to those that blaze a solitary trail. Here’s to Cello #3 in the 3rd row; the orchestra just wouldn’t be the same without you.

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