A couple of weeks ago, Red Dot Digital’s CEO spoke at the Tech Leaders’ Summit in London, UK https://www.techleaderssummit.co.uk/ and sat on a panel about leveraging diversity for greater innovation.
“Innovation happens in teams, not with individuals. Great innovation brings different disciplines, suppliers, partners and customers together to co-create. Central to great innovation is the ability to have people from different professional, organisational and cultural barriers working in collaborative harmony, to get people working together to create better products and services.”
The panel was moderated by Matt Ballantine, CIO and CTO Advisor, Stamp London, and also featured Dr. Nancy Doyle, CEO, Genius Within UK; Timo Peach, Creative Director, Momo:zo; Leila Willingham, Development Executive, Liz Lean PR; and Mohan Yogendran, Director, Rockpools.
If you’ve read any of my past posts here and on my blog, you’re probably aware that innovation and diversity are hugely important to me.
You can’t train innovation. You discover innovation through pain, life experience and all the personal growth these things bring. This growth leads people to adopt an innovative mindset. Naturally, if you put a bunch of people in the room who all have experienced similar types of pain and similar life experiences, they’re likely to have similar mindsets, and that means their innovation will look pretty similar too. And that’s... not actually very innovative.
I almost want to say being hungry is a trigger to choose innovation. People who are too comfortable won’t be able to innovate; it comes from an urgency, a purpose, a drive. And while I would never argue that oppression is a good thing, we have to acknowledge that people who haven’t had it easy often bring way more creativity and fresh ideas to the table, because they’ve had to innovate in their own lives in order to succeed under difficult conditions.
From this perspective, diversity is extremely valuable in the workplace, because it boosts your chances of innovation. The more difference you have at the table, the more new ideas can emerge. When you allow people to be multi-dimensional and to bring all their experiences to the table, you get magic. I call this innovation via diversity, and it’s an approach I think is crucial to today’s business world.
My favorite quote :
More on the panel contribution on Matt’s site :