In line with this month’s theme on diversity, we came across a super TEDx talk by Juliet Bourke, author of Which Two Heads Are Better Than One? all about diversity and it’s really worth a watch.
TEDx: How to be smarter and make better choices | Juliet Bourke
Highlights if you can’t spare the 13 minutes:
The problem with non-diverse decision-making teams is that they tend to all share the same point of view. Bourke maintains that if you’re solving problems from one perspective, you’re building in an error rate of about 30% so it’s really important to have Diversity of Thinking.
6 different ways people approach problem-solving:
Their extensive research with thousands of companies found that 93% of respondents said that one of those things was more important than the other five factors and the remaining 7% said only two of the factors were important.
We tend to only listen, pay attention and care about what we think is important and to undervalue or ignore the rest. For example, 75% of senior leaders concentrate only on “options” and “outcomes” but said that great leaders had already realised this and adapted accordingly citing Barack Obama, Warren Buffet and Charles Darwin as three examples of highly successful people that have demonstrated a ‘Disciplined Attention to Diversity of Thinking’.
The reality, she says, is that paying attention to diversity of thinking is hard so we tend not to do it, the psychologists call this cognitive depletion but there are three things we can do to help:
- Capability – it’s a given that anyone at the table must know their topic.
- Visible Racial Diversity – when someone looks different to us, we tend to listen harder to their point of view because we assume they must know something because they are here.
- Gender Balance – the group dynamic changes when there is about 60/40 mix. With higher levels of psychological safety, people feel better speaking up.
Sure invest in the 13 minutes to watch the findings direct from source.