So DO something DIFFERENT today!
So DO something DIFFERENT today!
As Adam Vaccaro points out, diverse workplace might ultimately create better results, as some new studies suggest.
“The study, detailed by NPR, looks at the work of scientific researchers and finds that papers written by multicultural teams were cited in other research more often than those written by homogenous groups. In the world of research, citations are seen as a metric of quality.
Ethnic diversity wasn’t the only harbinger of success. The same study also found that groups with members from geographic areas-perhaps three cities in the same country-also created better papers than those with members from the same place.
“It’s a matter of looking at individual teams and making sure they’re different perspectives, different points of view, different backgrounds,” NPR’s David Greene says.
The principle isn’t an entirely new one. The idea that different perspectives result in better work has been explored from a more macro-economic perspective, as research shows that diverse cities experience more economic growth. The idea is also at play in research showing that companies with females on their boards financially outperform those that don’t (have females on their boards).”
People tend to think of diversity as simply demographic, a matter of color, gender, or age. However, groups can be disparate in many ways. Diversity is also based on informational differences, reflecting a person’s education and experience, as well as on values or goals that can influence what one perceives to be the mission of something as small as a single meeting or as large as a whole company.
Diversity among employees can create better performance when it comes to out-of-the-ordinary creative tasks such as product development or cracking new markets… The researchers found that informational diversity stirred constructive conflict, or debate, around the task at hand. That is, people deliberate about the best course of action.
Diversity is the crucial element for group creativity. Innovation teams tasked with creating new products or technologies or iterating existing ones need tension to produce breakthroughs, and tension comes from diverse points of view. This is the opposite of groupthink, the creativity-killing phenomenon of too much agreement and too similar perspectives that often paralyzes otherwise great teams.
According to McKinsey Quarterly, between 2008 and 2010, companies with more diverse top teams were also top financial performers. That’s probably no coincidence. There are many reasons companies with more diverse executive teams should outperform their peers: fielding a team of top executives with varied cultural backgrounds and life experiences can broaden a company’s strategic perspective, for example. And relentless competition for the best people should reward organizations that cast their nets beyond traditional talent pools for leadership.
Leverage Diversity for Greater Success
We’ve all had experience with two dramatically different types of leaders. The first type drain intelligence, energy, and capability from the ones around them and always need to be the smartest ones in the room. These are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the diminishers of talent and commitment.
On the other side of the spectrum are leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them. When these leaders walk into a room, lightbulbs go off over people’s heads, ideas flow, and problems get resolved. These are the leaders who inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations. These are the Multipliers.
Multipliers are genius makers. Everyone around them gets smarter and more capable. People may not become geniuses in a traditional sense, but Multipliers invoke each person’s unique intelligence and create an atmosphere of genius – innovation, productive effort, and collective, viral intelligence.
Diminishers on the other hand are absorbed in their own intelligence, stifle others, and deplete the organization of crucial intelligence and capability.
The mind of Multiplier
Multipliers and Diminishers tend to hold radically different assumptions about the intelligence of the people they work with. These assumptions appear to explain much of the difference in how Diminishers and Multipliers operate.
The Diminisher’s view of intelligence is based on elitism and scarcity. Diminishers appear to believe that really intelligent people are a rare breed and I am one of the few really smart people. They then conclude, other people will never figure things out without me.
Multipliers on the other hand have a rich view of the intelligence of the people around them. They see intelligence as continually developing. Therefore their key assumption: people are smart. They will figure this out and will get even smarter in the process.
In analysing data from more than 150 leaders, Wiseman and McKeown have identified five key disciplines that distinguish Multipliers from Diminishers:
Talent Magnets get access to the best talent because people flock to work for them knowing they will be fully utilized and developed to be ready for the next stage. Talent Magnets:
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Liberators create an intense environment that requires people’s best thinking and work. As a result, people offer their best and boldest thinking and give their best effort.
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Challengers define opportunities that challenge people to go beyond what they know how to do. As a result they get an organisation that understands the challenge and has the focus and energy to take it on.
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Debate Makers engage people in debating the issues up front, which leads to sound decisions that people understand and can execute efficiently.
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Multipliers operate as Investors. They invest by infusing others with the resources and ownership they need to produce results independent of the leader.
Multipliers also tend to have a great sense of humor. They aren’t necessarily comedians, but they don’t take themselves or situations too seriously. They can laugh at themselves and see comedy in error and in life’s foibles. Their sense of humor liberates others. Multipliers use humor to create comfort and to spark a natural energy and intelligence in others.
From “Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter” by Liz Wiseman with Greg McKeown
The concept of Diminishers and Multipliers however is not limited to business leadership only. It can be easily applied to any relationship, including marriage, family, parenting, friendship etc.
Are you a Diminisher or a Multiplier, a Genius or a Genius Maker?