Diversity boosts innovation and fuels business growth. Collaborating, challenging and testing assumptions enables teams to deliver better work, and heightened benefits to the stakeholders and communities they serve.

Diverse teams do better work

Diverse teams boost innovation, meaning diverse teams do better work. When a company brings together individuals from different walks of life, cultures and experiences, in highly collaborative teams built on trust and respect, team members can share, challenge and elevate contributions. The result:  creativity is bolstered, celebrated and harnessed for problem solving and improving work. The difference for business impact is when innovative thinking and ideas are spun into actionable strategies.

As we are all working remotely, physically away from the teams whom we collaborate and communities we serve, through online meeting tools such as Cisco Webex, we have ample opportunity to connect across the day and time zones. Hence building a diverse team should be easy. Let me share some of the benefits of why building a diverse team can help.

1. Working with people whom are different to you challenge you: One of the greatest skills of a leader is the ability to listen to your team. To better understand and meet needs of different individuals, you rise to the challenge – it’s a great way to test and rejuvenate your thinking to elevate more rounded ideas. Intently listening with an open mind can also help keep bias in check and question assumptions.

2. Reduction of groupthink: Not always the most vocal or similar ideas get up. Facts are more likely questioned, while the objectivity versus subjectivity is challenged. As conformity declines, differences in people views can be debated, where the sparks of innovation are often born.

3. Remote working and tools invite ongoing collaboration: You don’t have to be face to face to get things done. The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown is proving the digitality of equipped companies. Ideas can be debated freely over teaming applications. Project teams can be set up in seconds and strawman proposals developed in minutes. Resultantly, your immediate team’s view will be accessed in minutes. Additionally, within a few clicks, invite a wider and diverse audience – whether it is someone from overseas or from another group that can add a different perspective. Virtual engagement is the new normal.

4. Newcomers feel more welcome to contributing early: If your team environment lends itself to openness, trust and debate, newcomers arrive seeing an early transition to free expression. Fresh thinking is praised, not negatively questioned.

5. Engagement and high performance: When everyone feels welcome and valued, the team is empowered to perform at its best. Talent develops, retention is minimised, and both the business and its customers prosper. Competitive advantage and differentiation is realised.

Now that we have exposed ideas to build stronger more diverse teams, benefit immediately from it by making it a priority. Build a new virtual team today!

You can also browse my previous post for Cisco Viewpoints relating to Workforce Diversity here or check out our most recent posts.

Connect with my team and me on Linkedin:

Angela Coronica

Neil Archer

Paul Wittich

Samuel Poh