Summary of How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation

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When consultants praise the merits of diversity in business leadership, are they actually trying to boost your bottom line or are they simply being politically correct? The Boston Consulting Group asked employees from 1,700 companies worldwide about diversity in their companies and then measured the data against revenue garnered from new products. The results should inform executives and hiring managers as they strive to assemble innovative teams.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What to look for when assembling an innovation dream team,
  • How a company’s culture can facilitate the benefits of diversity and
  • Why companies must approach diversity objectives just like they would any other business goal.
 

About the Authors

Rocío Lorenzo, Nicole Voigt, Miki Tsusaka, Matt Krentz and Katie Abouzahr are professionals at the Boston Consulting Group.

 

Summary

You’ve heard it before: Diversity in a company’s leadership correlates with increased innovation, probably because diverse leaders contribute unique perspectives to a project. But have you heard the hard numbers? In 1,700 companies studied, innovation revenue – revenue from products brought to market within the previous three years – made up 45% of total revenue in businesses with management teams boasting above-average leadership diversity. In companies with below-average leadership diversity, innovation revenue was only 26% of the total. That 19% difference is significant for companies hoping to be at the cutting edge of dynamic industries. The correlation between diversity and innovation was even stronger for firms heavily invested in digital technology. Companies with highly diverse leadership also boast 9% higher earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) margins than their less diverse counterparts.


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