Summary of Diversity at Work

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Diverse teams tend to be more productive and perform better. More variety in backgrounds and cultures also leads to more creativity and innovation. However, although most managers are aware of the potential benefits, progress on diversity is slow, and even diverse companies often aren’t reaping the benefits that diversity could bring. The Boston Consulting Group uses insights from the fields of biology and strategy to suggest six measures for companies that want to “achieve performance-enhancing diversity.” getAbstract recommends this article to managers aiming to make their organizations more creative and productive by harboring the widest possible range of perspectives.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How companies benefit from diversity,
  • Why increasing “compositional diversity” won’t yield the desired advantages and
  • What companies can do to achieve true diversity.

About the Authors

Mika Tsusaka and Martin Reeves are senior partners and managing directors at the Boston Consulting Group in Tokyo and New York, respectively. Stephanie Hurder is a project leader and an ambassador to the BCG Henderson Institute. Johann Harnoss is a core group member of BCG’s Energy and Corporate Development practices.



In politically and technologically disrupted times, diversity within organizations is one way to become more dynamic and to increase the likelihood of long-term success. Many businesses and organizations have taken measures to increase “compositional diversity” and extend equality of opportunity and representation to groups that have traditionally faced discrimination, such as women and minority ethnicities. However, representation of various groups isn’t sufficient to produce a truly diverse organization. Six principles – based in the study of complex adaptive systems in biology as well as strategy research – can help your company “unlock the benefits of diversity”:

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