Di­ver­sity’s New Fron­tier: Di­ver­sity of Thought

Ad­vances in neu­ro­science can help to ‘op­er­a­tional­ize’ di­ver­sity of thought and change how we har­ness hu­man cap­i­tal.

Rotman Management Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - By Anesa Parker, Car­men Me­d­ina and El­iz­a­beth Schill

UP UN­TIL NOW, di­ver­sity ini­tia­tives have fo­cused pri­mar­ily on fair­ness for legally-pro­tected pop­u­la­tions. But the smartest or­ga­ni­za­tions are em­brac­ing and har­ness­ing a more pow­er­ful and nu­anced type of di­ver­sity: Di­ver­sity of thought. Ad­vances in neu­ro­science mean that match­ing peo­ple to spe­cific jobs based on more rig­or­ous cog­ni­tive analysis is now within reach. Or­ga­ni­za­tions that can op­er­a­tional­ize faster ideation can be­gin to pur­posely align in­di­vid­u­als to cer­tain teams and jobs sim­ply be­cause of the way they think.

As we will demon­strate, di­ver­sity of thought brings an or­ga­ni­za­tion three key ben­e­fits: It helps guard against group­think and ex­pert over­con­fi­dence; it helps to in­crease the scale of new in­sights; and it helps to iden­tify which em­ploy­ees can best tackle your most press­ing prob­lems.

The Next Fron­tier

Di­ver­sity of thought refers to a con­cept that all of us know in­tu­itively and ex­pe­ri­ence through­out our lives: Ev­ery hu­man be­ing has a unique blend of iden­ti­ties, cul­tures and ex­pe­ri­ences that in­form how he or she thinks, in­ter­prets, ne­go­ti­ates and ac­com­plishes a par­tic­u­lar task. Di­ver­sity of thought goes be­yond the af­fir­ma­tion of equal­ity — sim­ply rec­og­niz­ing dif­fer­ences and re­spond­ing to them. In­stead, the fo­cus is on re­al­iz­ing the full po­ten­tial of peo­ple, and in turn, the or­ga­ni­za­tion, by ac­knowl­edg­ing and ap­pre­ci­at­ing the prom­ise of each per­son’s unique way of think­ing.

The im­pli­ca­tion of this ‘new fron­tier in di­ver­sity’ is that lead­ers must let go of the idea that there is one ‘right way’ and in­stead fo­cus on cre­at­ing a learn­ing cul­ture where peo­ple feel ac­cepted, are com­fort­able con­tribut­ing ideas, and ac­tively seek to learn from each other.

In the not-too-dis­tant fu­ture, man­agers adept at lead­ing di­verse work teams will be sen­si­tive not only to fac­tors of gen­der, race, eth­nic­ity, sex­u­al­ity and abil­ity, but also to un­der­stand­ing how peo­ple think dif­fer­ently. Man­agers will also need to un­der­stand how to use emer­gent tech­nolo­gies to help em­ploy­ees

eval­u­ate their unique think­ing strengths and iden­tify their op­ti­mal con­tri­bu­tions to your mis­sion.

Tech­nol­ogy, of course, is not a panacea. Lead­ers will also need to ad­just their man­age­ment styles to bet­ter en­cour­age con­nec­tions be­tween in­di­vid­u­als and their ideas in or­der to im­prove prob­lem solv­ing, learn­ing, co­op­er­a­tion and in­no­va­tion.

Hir­ing prac­tices also need to evolve. Hir­ing for a di­ver­sity of back­grounds may not nec­es­sar­ily yield dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives, be­cause phys­i­cal di­ver­sity is not a suf­fi­cient proxy for di­ver­sity of thought. And once some­one is hired, or­ga­ni­za­tions will need to ad­just their ap­proach to man­ag­ing and ad­vanc­ing each in­di­vid­ual’s ca­reer.

Over the last 20 years, cog­ni­tive sci­en­tists and neu­rol­o­gists have made progress in un­der­stand­ing how the hu­man mind works. For ex­am­ple, many of us are fa­mil­iar with the dis­tinc­tion be­tween left- and right-brain think­ing and its im­pact on work per­for­mance. Although this tax­on­omy is overly sim­plis­tic, re­search does show that in­di­vid­u­als have dif­fer­ing cog­ni­tive styles and par­tic­u­lar think­ing strengths: Some of us are in­clined to be bet­ter at math, oth­ers at pat­tern recog­ni­tion or cre­ativ­ity. Ap- pro­pri­ately har­nessed, even the slight­est nu­ance of one worker’s think­ing can bring value to an or­ga­ni­za­tion.

In­vest­ing in di­ver­sity of thought can help or­ga­ni­za­tions re­al­ize three key ben­e­fits.

BEN­E­FIT 1: DI­VERSE THINKERS GUARD AGAINST GROUP­THINK AND EX­PERT OVER­CON­FI­DENCE. Re­search demon­strates that di­verse think­ing helps or­ga­ni­za­tions make bet­ter de­ci­sions be­cause it trig­gers cre­ative in­for­ma­tion pro­cess­ing that is of­ten ab­sent in ho­moge­nous groups. More­over, while ho­moge­nous groups are typ­i­cally more con­fi­dent in their per­for­mance, di­verse groups are of­ten more suc­cess­ful in com­plet­ing tasks. This is be­cause di­verse team mem­bers don’t just in­tro­duce new view­points; they also trig­ger more care­ful in­for­ma­tion pro­cess­ing that is typ­i­cally ab­sent in ho­moge­nous groups.

Some of the most ground-break­ing re­search in this area is be­ing con­ducted by the gov­ern­ment, specifically by the In­tel­li­gence Ad­vanced Re­search Projects Ac­tiv­ity (IARPA). Its Ag­grega­tive Con­tin­gent Es­ti­ma­tion (ACE) pro­gram aims “to dra­mat­i­cally en­hance the ac­cu­racy, pre­ci­sion and time­li­ness of

In­di­vid­u­als have par­tic­u­lar think­ing strengths: Some of us are in­clined to be bet­ter at math, oth­ers at pat­tern recog­ni­tion or cre­ativ­ity.

fore­casts for a broad range of event types, through the de­vel­op­ment of ad­vanced tech­niques that elicit, weight and com­bine the judg­ments of many in­tel­li­gence an­a­lysts.”

Philip Tet­lock, a pro­fes­sor of man­age­ment and psy­chol­ogy at the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia, leads an ACE pro­gram re­search team. Tet­lock, whose book Ex­pert Po­lit­i­cal Judg­ment ex­am­ined the fre­quent over­con­fi­dence of sub­stan­tive ex­perts, has as­sem­bled a group of laypeo­ple with di­verse back­grounds to pre­dict the fu­ture like­li­hood of cer­tain events. This eclec­tic team has repli­cated the re­sults Tet­lock first pub­lished in his book by hand­ily beat­ing the rec­og­nized ex­perts in its abil­ity to fore­cast fu­ture events. The ACE stud­ies and Tet­lock’s orig­i­nal re­search il­lus­trate the po­ten­tial that or­ga­ni­za­tions have to “fully un­der­stand the causes of suc­cess­ful col­lec­tive per­for­mance and to im­prove their out­comes by as­sem­bling teams of more di­verse thinkers to com­ple­ment their more tra­di­tional ex­perts.”

BEN­E­FIT 2: DI­VERSE THINKERS HELP IN­CREASE THE SCALE OF NEW IN­SIGHTS. When time is of the essence, or­ga­ni­za­tions of­ten re­sort to gath­er­ing a group of ex­perts and spe­cial­ists — the premise be- ing that sub­ject-matter knowl­edge is more likely to quickly gen­er­ate a qual­ity so­lu­tion to what­ever is­sue faces the or­ga­ni­za­tion. How­ever, emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies are cre­at­ing op­tions ren­der­ing the con­gre­ga­tion of ex­perts less use­ful. In­stead, it is be­com­ing clear that gen­er­at­ing a great idea quickly re­quires con­nect­ing mul­ti­ple tasks and ideas to­gether in a new way.

Crowd­sourc­ing and gam­i­fi­ca­tion tech­niques are unique ways to chan­nel the di­ver­sity of hu­man think­ing through their use of di­verse on­line crowds to solve chal­leng­ing is­sues. The crowd­sourc­ing game Foldit, spon­sored by the Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton’s De­part­ments of Com­puter Sci­ence and Engi­neer­ing, uses the puz­zle-solv­ing in­tu­itions of vol­un­teer gamers to help sci­en­tists bet­ter un­der­stand the func­tion of hu­man pro­tein en­zymes.

In one puz­zle, sci­en­tists asked the com­mu­nity to re­model one of four amino acid loops on a par­tic­u­lar en­zyme. They received over 70,000 de­sign sub­mis­sions, the top five of which came from play­ers who had not taken any sci­ence be­yond high school chem­istry. What the play­ers did have in com­mon were spa­tial rea­son­ing skills, in­tu­ition, agility, col­lab­o­ra­tion, self-or­ga­ni­za­tion and com­pe­ti­tion. These skills, when mul­ti­plied by

While ho­moge­nous groups are more con­fi­dent in their per­for­mance, di­verse groups are of­ten more suc­cess­ful in com­plet­ing tasks.

the num­ber of play­ers in Foldit, quickly pointed the sci­en­tists to a so­lu­tion that would have taken rec­og­nized ex­perts much longer to com­plete.

Though most or­ga­ni­za­tions can­not give all their prob­lems to the ‘crowd’ to solve, they can pro­mote a broader range of think­ing to help them achieve the same ben­e­fits of speed and scale af­forded by crowd­sourc­ing tech­niques.

BEN­E­FIT 3: DI­VERSE THINKERS CAN TACKLE YOUR MOST PRESS­ING PROB-LEMS. Or­ga­ni­za­tions that op­er­a­tional­ize di­ver­sity of thought can be­gin to pur­posely align in­di­vid­u­als to cer­tain teams and jobs sim­ply be­cause of the way they think. Some of this can al­ready be ac­com­plished with test­ing, but ad­vances in neu­ro­science mean that match­ing peo­ple to spe­cific jobs based on more rig­or­ous cog­ni­tive analysis is within reach. Emo­tiv Life­sciences, a neu­ro­bi­ol­ogy com­pany, has cre­ated a brain­wave ‘read­ing rig’ de­signed to mea­sure how well a per­son can con­cen­trate on a given ac­tiv­ity. Us­ing sen­sors sim­i­lar to an EEG ma­chine, it con­nects cog­ni­tive ac­tiv­ity with the con­trol of a de­vice like a com­puter, of­fer­ing real-time analysis. These and other tech­niques be­ing de­vel­oped re­veal not just the sym­phony of neu­ral ac­tiv­ity, but the notes be­hind it.

The ac­cep­tance of these new tech­nolo­gies can be chal­leng­ing and will likely take or­ga­ni­za­tions into un­charted ter­ri­to­ries. But if prop­erly in­cor­po­rated into work pro­cesses, they can help iden­tify in­di­vid­u­als who can best tackle an or­ga­ni­za­tion’s most press­ing prob­lems. These new ca­pa­bil­i­ties will em­power or­ga­ni­za­tions not to read minds, but to un­der­stand how a mind might re­act and how best to match it with oth­ers to achieve mis­sion suc­cess. Those who learn to do this well will have an im­me­di­ate com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage.

How to In­crease Di­ver­sity of Thought

As in­di­cated, the in­ter­sec­tions be­tween neu­ro­science, psy­chol­ogy and tech­nol­ogy are cre­at­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties for or­ga­ni­za­tions to bet­ter un­der­stand how peo­ple think and how to trans­late these cut­ting-edge find­ings into prac­tice. Fol­low­ing are three steps to de­vel­op­ing a strat­egy to fos­ter di­ver­sity of thought.

STEP 1: Hire Dif­fer­ently

FIND STRATE­GIC SKILL GAPS. With an eye for di­ver­sity of thought, man­agers and HR rep­re­sen­ta­tives can se­lect peo­ple who think dif­fer­ently while main­tain­ing align­ment with the firm’s mis­sion and bot­tom line. To get a di­verse pool of ap­pli­cants, re­cruiters will need to ex­am­ine their prac­tices to en­sure not only that a job de­scrip­tion in­cludes the tech­ni­cal com­pe­ten­cies nec­es­sary for suc­cess, but also that the job de­scrip­tion and in­ter­view process con­tain com­pe­ten­cies and ques­tions de­signed to help iden­tify and se­lect for cog­ni­tive di­ver­sity.

Ger­man soft­ware firm SAP AG has taken this idea a step fur­ther by ac­tively re­cruit­ing for a par­tic­u­lar strand of cog­ni­tive abil­ity that has his­tor­i­cally been branded a dis­abil­ity. A few years ago, it be­gan re­cruit­ing peo­ple with autism to make use of this pop­u­la­tion’s unique abil­ity to process in­for­ma­tion. Peo­ple di­ag­nosed with autism have dif­fi­cul­ties com­mu­ni­cat­ing and suf­fer from emo­tional de­tach­ment, yet those with mild autism can of­ten per­form com­plex tasks that re­quire high lev­els of con­cen­tra­tion — typ­i­cally much bet­ter than the av­er­age pop­u­la­tion.

Be­yond their ad­vanced math­e­mat­i­cal skills, autis­tic peo­ple also fre­quently ex­hibit a par­tic­u­larly po­tent abil­ity to find pat­terns and make con­nec­tions. SAP’S will­ing­ness to seek out unique cog­ni­tive skill sets where other or­ga­ni­za­tions may see pro­hib­i­tive deficits in­jects new com­plex­ity into their tal­ent man­age­ment, but can be well worth the ef­fort: “SAP sees a po­ten­tial com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage to lever­ag­ing the unique tal­ents of peo­ple with autism, while also help­ing them to se­cure mean­ing­ful em­ploy­ment.”

HIRE WITH DEBATE IN MIND. One of the most im­por­tant projects in U.S. his­tory ben­e­fited from a sim­i­larly un­ortho­dox ap­proach to as­sem­bling a team. Dur­ing World War II, the Man­hat­tan Project was led by Colonel Dick Groves and physi­cist Dr. Robert Op­pen­heimer. It was, first and fore­most, a mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion, and would come to rep­re­sent the be­gin­ning of the mil­i­tary-in­dus­trial com­plex — a hy­brid of pub­lic, pri­vate, and aca­demic brain power. Groves and Op­pen­heimer brought to­gether sev­eral thou­sand physi­cists and en­gi­neers, 20 of whom

Em­ploy­ees should feel com­fort­able hold­ing opin­ions that are dif­fer­ent from those of man­age­ment.

were No­bel lau­re­ates.

Op­pen­heimer, in par­tic­u­lar, sum­moned sci­en­tists with con­trast­ing the­o­ret­i­cal points of view, know­ing that if they could col­lec­tively work through their dif­fer­ences, they would be able to ac­com­plish one of the great­est sci­en­tific feats of the 20th cen­tury. Had they not hired with this in mind, the op­por­tu­nity to gen­er­ate and take ad­van­tage of in­no­va­tive ideas may have been squan­dered. Although Groves and Op­pen­heimer did not open the flood­gates to all types of di­ver­sity — women, for ex­am­ple, were not in­cluded — they did hire widely within the field of sci­ence and the mil­i­tary to com­bine two dis­tinct worlds, set­ting the prece­dent for how di­verse tal­ents can achieve dif­fi­cult tasks in a short pe­riod of time.

The les­son? Or­ga­ni­za­tions need to re­cruit di­verse top tal­ent, even if it means shak­ing up the sta­tus quo with opin­ion­ated em­ploy­ees. Op­pen­heimer in­ten­tion­ally gath­ered dis­sent­ing, great minds in an ef­fort to har­ness their con­flicts. He knew that the se­ries of so­lu­tions they worked to­ward would never have sprung forth from a cho­rus of agree­ment, no matter how col­lec­tively bril­liant.

STEP 2: Man­age Dif­fer­ently

FA­CIL­I­TATE ‘DI­VER­SITY TEN­SION’. One of the chal­lenges as­so­ci­ated with di­ver­sity is that it in­tro­duces greater com­plex­ity. The most suc­cess­ful or­ga­ni­za­tions will be those who can over­come chal­lenges such as mis­un­der­stand­ings and in­creased con­flict, which can hap­pen when di­ver­sity is not suc­cess­fully man­aged.

When con­fronted with ‘di­ver­sity ten­sion’, even the best-in­ten­tioned man­ager can send off sub­con­scious sig­nals of dis­com­fort. A re­search team in Den­mark stud­ied city gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to iden­tify rea­sons why their or­ga­ni­za­tion ex­pe­ri­enced high lev­els of neg­a­tiv­ity. They ob­served the lo­cal gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, us­ing videos to record typ­i­cal in­ter­ac­tions dur­ing the work­day. When look­ing back through the tapes, the re­searchers no­ticed that when­ever an ex­ec­u­tive was asked a tough ques­tion by his or her em­ploy­ees, he or she would make a slight vari­a­tion in their head move­ment. Work­ing with psy­chol­o­gists, the re­searchers de­ter­mined that this slight head nod was the same tic ob­served in na­ture when an in­di­vid­ual comes into con­tact with a wild an­i­mal.

Your of­fice may not have a pet tiger, but man­agers and em­ploy­ees still face the in­stinc­tual urge to avoid con­flict. It is sim­ply eas­ier for us to agree than to be con­fronta­tional. Part of be­ing com­fort­able with con­flict is aban­don­ing the idea that con­sen­sus is an end in and of it­self. In a well-run di­verse team, sub­stan­tive dis­agree­ments do not need to be­come per­sonal: Iideas ei­ther have merit and points of con­nec­tion or they do not. Di­ver­sity of thought chal­lenges man­agers to re­think con­flict it­self, shift­ing their per­spec­tive away from mit­i­gat­ing con­flict’s neg­a­tive ef­fects and to­ward de­sign­ing con­flict that can push their teams to new lev­els of cre­ativ­ity and pro­duc­tiv­ity. Lead­ers and man­agers who cre­ate the nec­es­sary space for dis­agree­ments will find richer so­lu­tions and the buy-in of naysay­ers who are at least able to voice their ideas.

Lead­ing de­sign firm IDEO man­ages this ten­sion by pur­posely hir­ing peo­ple from di­verse back­grounds to in­ject dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives, and then fos­ters a col­lab­o­ra­tive cul­ture where peo­ple have to ad­vo­cate for their ideas. IDEO’S ap­proach is born out of care­ful hir­ing prac­tices and its abil­ity to fa­cil­i­tate ‘con­trolled con­flict’ — the sub­ject of IDEO gen­eral man­ager Tom Kelly’s book The Ten Faces of In­no­va­tion. Since these non­tra­di­tional teams are formed with ex­pe­ri­en­tial con­flict in mind, in­di­vid­u­als are re­quired to be ad­vo­cates for their ideas and to re­spect the ideas of those around them.

Fur­ther­more, IDEO has a re­sourc­ing ap­proach that gets peo­ple with great fa­cil­i­ta­tion skills, not years of ser­vice, to drive the de­sign process and man­age the project to get the most value out of its unique ex­perts. Kelly in­sists that while there is no for­mula for who should con­trib­ute when, the key is for all peo­ple to be en­cour­aged to bring mul­ti­ple ideas to a prob­lem set.

GIVE PER­MIS­SION. Or­ga­ni­za­tions aim­ing for a more di­verse work­force need to adopt spe­cific prac­tices so that em­ploy­ees be­lieve they have per­mis­sion to bring their en­tire selves to the work­place. In this sense, firms that strive for in­clu­sion at­tempt to ap­pre­ci­ate their em­ploy­ees’ dif­fer­ences and fos­ter an en­vi­ron­ment

where all feel com­fort­able shar­ing their views and their au­then­tic selves. Em­ploy­ees should feel com­fort­able dis­agree­ing and hold­ing opin­ions dif­fer­ent from those of man­age­ment. One of the hard­est things for a man­ager to do is to let em­ploy­ees dis­agree with her and al­low them to ex­plore their ideas — even if that ex­plo­ration leads to fail­ure.

To re­lieve the pres­sure on em­ploy­ees, man­agers can use be­havioural ‘nudges’ to prompt con­ver­sa­tion and de­per­son­al­ize debate around even the man­ager’s own per­sonal ideas. A man­ager in an in­tel­li­gence agency told us that one way she has found to en­sure that her team mem­bers pro­vide hon­est and nec­es­sary in­sight is to give them per­mis­sion to give harsh, con­struc­tive feed­back. In­stead of ask­ing, ‘Does this make sense?’, she in­stead asks, ‘What is wrong with my logic?’ or ‘What points am I miss­ing?’ Such ques­tions pro­voke more con­trar­ian analysis that ul­ti­mately helps her cre­ate a bet­ter fi­nal prod­uct.

STEP 3: Ad­vance Dif­fer­ently

DRIVE CA­REER SPON­SOR­SHIP. Once cog­ni­tively-di­verse in­di­vid­u­als are hired, man­agers and lead­ers need to re­tain and ad­vance that tal­ent. One way to do so is to en­act spon­sor­ship pro­grams di­rected at in­di­vid­u­als who rep­re­sent dif­fer­ent think­ing styles. Spon­sors can help cog­ni­tively-di­verse thinkers find the ap­pro­pri­ate ap­pli­ca­tion of their unique think­ing styles, thus help­ing them to ad­vance in their new ca­reer track. A spon­sor trained in the tenets of cog­ni­tive di­ver­sity would also be able to trans­late and pro­mote the oth­er­wise hid­den at­tributes of in­di­vid­u­als new to an or­ga­ni­za­tion.

In­di­vid­u­als with di­verse think­ing styles can also act as a men­tor to other peo­ple within their or­ga­ni­za­tions. For ex­am­ple, in to­day’s dig­i­tal age, many Mil­len­ni­als are re­verse-men­tor­ing more se­nior col­leagues in so­cial me­dia and net­works. Cisco has im­ple­mented a re­verse-men­tor­ship pro­gram de­signed to en­able the men­tor to pro­vide the ex­ec­u­tive with a per­spec­tive on how com­ments and de­ci­sions might be in­ter­preted by di­verse em­ploy­ees as well as valu­able feed­back on how well he or she en­cour­ages in­clu­sion and di­ver­sity in his or her own busi­ness prac­tices.

SHIFT TO TEAM-BASED EVAL­U­A­TION. To the ex­tent that di­ver­sity of thought is about iden­ti­fy­ing and man­ag­ing po­ten­tial, it is help­ful to re­call what the late Peter Drucker once said: You can only man­age what you can mea­sure. As a re­sult, lead­ers will­ing to har­ness the power of di­verse think­ing may want to mea­sure be­hav­iours such as ‘open­ness to con­struc­tive con­flict’ to push their teams to­ward more ro­bust re­sults. It’s time to shift the con­ver­sa­tion from man­ag­ing in­di­vid­ual per­for­mance to nur­tur­ing the col­lec­tive in­tel­li­gence of the team.

The U.S. Of­fice of Per­son­nel Man­age­ment has pro­vided team eval­u­a­tion guid­ance that high­lights that in­di­vid­ual per­for­mance can be linked to a team’s co­op­er­a­tive be­hav­iour. By fo­cus­ing on the team’s out­puts, pub­lic sec­tor or­ga­ni­za­tions can con­tinue to drive to­ward re­sults while hold­ing the col­lec­tive ac­count­able to at­tributes such as mo­ti­va­tion, in­tel­lec­tual breadth, emo­tional in­tel­li­gence, and risk tol­er­ance.

Crit­i­cally, these el­e­ments are aligned with the larger goals and val­ues of the or­ga­ni­za­tion and can help cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where peo­ple can bring their au­then­tic selves. Any eval­u­a­tion frame­work must re­flect the com­plex­i­ties that make up the au­then­tic self, and by piv­ot­ing eval­u­a­tions to­ward the team, the ap­praisal be­comes about shared per­for­mance and how each in­di­vid­ual can en­able the larger group to drive to­ward ex­cel­lence. By mov­ing to a team eval­u­a­tion frame­work, or­ga­ni­za­tions can cre­ate and fos­ter a cul­ture of in­clu­sion that em­pow­ers its peo­ple, spurs col­lab­o­ra­tion, and in­spires more in­no­va­tion.

In clos­ing

Ex­ec­u­tives and man­agers alike must take in­creas­ing own­er­ship for cre­at­ing an in­clu­sive cul­ture char­ac­ter­ized by di­ver­sity of thought. In ways that were unimag­in­able a few decades ago, peo­ple and or­ga­ni­za­tions can now op­ti­mize the op­por­tu­ni­ties found at the in­ter­sec­tion be­tween cul­tures, val­ues and per­spec­tives. To achieve this, to­day’s prac­tices and reg­u­la­tions need to be reimag­ined to al­low for the emer­gence and full de­vel­op­ment of a pow­er­ful di­ver­sity strat­egy.

As MIT Pro­fes­sor An­drew Mcafee re­cently said, “Ex­per­tise for prob­lem solv­ing and in­no­va­tion is emer­gent. It’s out there in large quan­ti­ties, and in hard-to-pre­dict places. A prob­lem­solv­ing ap­proach that lets pock­ets of en­thu­si­asm and ex­per­tise man­i­fest them­selves and find each other can yield sur­pris­ingly large re­wards.”

Anesa Parker is a Strat­egy Man­ager at Mon­i­tor-deloitte, based in Wash­ing­ton DC. Car­men Me­d­ina is the founder of Me­d­i­n­an­a­lyt­ics LLC and a for­mer Spe­cial­ist Leader at Deloitte. El­iz­a­beth Schill is a guest blog­ger for Govloop and for­mer Se­nior Con­sul­tant at Deloitte.

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