Diversity of thought

What is Diversity of Thought, why is it important to organisations, and how can organisations ensure this is embedded into the culture and ways of working?

What is Diversity of Thought, why is it important to organisations, and how can organisations ensure this is embedded into the culture and ways of working?

Diversity of thought is the notion that our thinking, opinions and perspectives have been shaped by our lived experiences, cultural backgrounds and personalities. Therefore it is important that organisations bring different types of thinkers into an organisation, to bring new innovative ideas to the forefront, enhance the decision making process and encourage richer brainstorming sessions.

It is important to have different thinkers in an organisation; the analytical individuals, the creatives, the big picture thinkers, and more. Without this diversity, organisations can fall into homogeneous thought processes, which can lead to a lack of varied perspectives and reduced innovation. The benefits of having diversity of thought is that different perspectives and viewpoints can be brought to the table, discussed, challenged, merged, and possibly implemented. Having a diverse group of thinkers serves to highlight the various possible ways of completing a single activity; as the saying goes; there are many ways to skin a cat.

How can your organisation ensure there is diversity of thought across the business? Here are our top three tips:

  • Create an environment where everyone can air their opinions and their voices can be heard

It is important that everyone in an organisation strives to create a safe environment where opinions and thoughts can be aired freely. However it is imperative that leaders in the organisation, who often have greater opportunity and weight, actively create a culture which promotes physiological safety. An environment where employees feel they can speak freely without fear of judgement or criticism. 

  • Work together

It’s important to work together as each individual brings a new perspective and something different to the table. When creating teams at Clarasys we want individuals with different thinking styles to be the most innovative we can. Give it a go, you just may be surprised. 

  • Diverse thinking techniques

There’s a few techniques that can be used to draw out diverse thinking amongst employees. These can be:

  1. Encouraging the team to consider a range of thinking styles, eg. creative, analytical, detailed, big-picture. Encourage the team to be open and receptive to other thinking styles. 
  2. If a team comes to a consensus quickly, try asking them to think of, and consider, the next best option or an alternative way of completing the task.
  3. Reverse mentoring - where a junior employee pairs up with a member of the management team to provide mentorship on various topics. This technique provides an opportunity for junior employees to air their viewpoint and perspective

Diversity of thought allows organisations to move away from a homogenous thought process and aims to encourage and promote thinking that is different and that sits outside of the “norm”, for that organisation. As a result of diversity of thought, organisations can create a culture which not only empowers their employees but also helps them understand diversity, in every sense of the word. Diversity is more than sexuality, ethnicity, disabilities etc., it includes the differences in how we think, the difference in our perspectives and our different points of view. All of which should be celebrated and actively encouraged in organisations.