How diversity in all forms can help you make more effective decisions in your business
Many senior executives we work with worry about the state of decision making in their organisations. Important decisions are not subjected to critical debate, and middle management opinion is often rubber-stamped into action. To counter this, we recommend that you review the diversity of skills, background, thought and perspective that exists within your team.
Diversity of skill can be the most obvious to see in action – an accounts team sitting alongside a sales team, with marketing and customer service across the hall. Often, we hire based on technical skills that are an obvious fit between the applicant and the position in question.
But successful teams aren’t made just on a diversity of technical skills alone. By strategically prioritising other elements of diversity, your organisation can stand to benefit significantly from the resulting strength of the team as a cohesive unit.
The benefits of different backgrounds
Being able to solve problems and identify new opportunities are foundational tools for organisations that are gearing for growth. By building a team that’s reflective of different backgrounds and thought processes, leaders can tap into unique viewpoints that can help in tackling problems from new perspectives. The sum of different life experiences, which enable individuals to look at situations from different perspectives, can lead to the ability to empathise with end-users and customers in innovative and surprising ways. Let’s say you’ve got a parent and a non-parent on your team – they are going to bring different perspectives to the decision making table. Likewise, a newly arrived immigrant in a country may have a completely different view to a person that has lived there all their lives. The same logic can be applied to other elements of diversity including age, gender and spiritual beliefs.
Cultivating diverse thinking
In order for team members to contribute to effective decision making on a consistent basis, they need to know they’re in a psychologically safe environment where their particular opinion, when shared, is respected. So, focus on creating a team dynamic where each team member is encouraged to share their perspective, offer their insights and contribute to evolving conversations without fear of judgement.
Competing in the modern, fast-paced marketplace
For individuals, teams and organisations to grow, decisions need to be made and acted on in a timely manner. In some organisations, diversity is encouraged, but the benefit is negated by having a poorly defined decision-making process. There is not enough clarity on the why, what, how, and the what’s next of making a particular decision. This can sometimes make it hard to come to decisions in a timely manner. Sometimes not making a decision is the worst decision of all!
Regardless of the industry you operate in, one of the leading indicators of long-term success is your ability to attract and retain the best talent. Our kayaking virtual adventure is one pathway to cultivating diverse thinking within your team. In this virtual adventure down the Okavango River System in Northern Botswana, teams need to work together to balance competing priorities under pressure. They’re placed in difficult positions, influenced by changing environmental conditions that are outside of their control. It’ll take a whole lot of diversity of approaches, of strong communication and of collaborative interplay in order to make it down the river as a team.
With these skills developed in this virtual adventure environment, your team can then take what they’ve learned back into their everyday workflows. Benefit from the diverse thinking, experiences and skillsets highlighted in the context of collaborative outcomes and goal alignment. Set your team up to achieve the best outcomes possible by acknowledging the beauty of their diverse approaches in this out-of-the-box virtual adventure.