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Driven by Difference

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Driven by Difference

How Great Companies Fuel Innovation Through Diversity


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Yes, strength comes from diversity – but only when it contributes to your organization’s mission.

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Corporate culture expert David Livermore offers an unusual note of practical advice. He argues that diversity matters only if it contributes to your organization’s mission. Livermore offers chapters on showing respect, listening, gaining clarity and arriving at consensus in diverse teams. Only when such teams truly leverage their differences in perspectives and ideas can their organizations reap the benefits of a variety of viewpoints. Livermore refreshingly derides political correctness and suggests that people should embrace their differences instead of seeking commonalities. Though no organization can hope to implement all of Livermore’s ideas, getAbstract recommends his practical suggestions to diversity and inclusion professionals and their HR colleagues.


Simple Diversity Doesn’t Work

Many leaders and teams have had it with diversity. They’ve run programs and training sessions, and they’ve recruited diverse employees only to see no gains except, perhaps, an increase in problems and infighting. Whether or not you institute diversity intentionally, today a diversity of employees pervades nearly every workplace. However, just having a diverse workforce doesn’t guarantee innovation, creativity or any of the benefits generally associated with diversity.

High-functioning, diverse teams outperform homogenous teams, but diversity by itself contributes nothing to an organization’s success. Unless leaders intentionally leverage its potential, diversity erodes performance and productivity. Simply recruiting people of varied backgrounds and skills and hoping for the best often ends in acrimony and gridlock. If you don’t manage diverse teams carefully to take advantage of the members’ unique perspectives, you’re better off with team members of the same race, age, gender and culture – a clear impossibility.

Diversity That Works

Highly functional diverse teams outperform highly functional homogeneous teams. To overcome...

About the Author

David Livermore, PhD co-leader of the Cultural Intelligence Center, speaks worldwide about culture, identity and inclusion, and is a visiting fellow at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

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