6 WAYS TO FOSTER INNOVATION THROUGH DIVERSITY AT WORK
Updated: Jun 30, 2020
“Racism, because it favors color over talent, is bad for business.” – Steven Pinker
Diversity can take many forms, from culture and nationality to gender, race, sexuality, religion, educational background, and more. It does not matter if you have a small start-up or run a large corporation, having a diverse team and promoting inclusiveness, can foster innovation. And innovation is vital for a business to keep up with major disruptions and the ever-changing market. In times of crisis, innovation allows for business to find opportunities and have a competitive advantage.
Here are 6 ways you can foster innovation through diversity at work.
1. Be introspective and be honest about your biases and assumptions. Unconscious biases are deeply ingrained, and it affects us more than we know. More importantly, your actions arising from these biases can impede participation and innovation.
2. Communicate with people from different cultural background to your own. In this way, you develop a better understanding of other cultures. And perspectives can help to improve communication and avoid misunderstandings.
3. Educate yourself - learn about different cultural traditions and approaches to work, keep up to date with global events and international politics. Take the time to get to know your colleagues from different countries and backgrounds on a deeper and personal level.
4. Travel - especially if you have the chance to visit an office or team overseas. Not only will you gain friends, you will also gain a sense of cultural appreciation and sensitivity.
5. Seek out new perspectives and ideas. Problems on the job? Ask your diverse team for help and be open to new perspectives and ideas. People from different cultures and background may take a different approach to solving business problems. You may find valuable insights from your colleagues through a wealth of diverse life experiences. Looking at something in a new way may reveal a solution you would never have considered on your own.
6. Be ready to let go of the old ways of doing things.
As we go through tough times, there are tons of opportunities that can be found. Be prepared to seize them, make your workplace more welcoming and productive, and foster innovation through diversity.
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