“Diversity trumps ability” as a sufficiently diverse, large group of non-experts often outperforms a small group of experts,” found Future Perfect author Steven Johnson. In our increasingly complex, disruptive world, we will face more situations where we’ll benefit from calling on the so-called wisdom of the crowd.
Thus it behooves us to have colleagues with very different work and life experiences, and from diverse professions and industries.
Secondarily, as a connective leader, hone your capacity to recruit and involve them to support you, as you would support them, and to work together around sweet spots of mutual interest. With that diverse network of trusted colleagues you are more able to recruit people who can see a situation from varied perspectives. Plus, when you want to attract attention and support you can recruit unexpected allies to be more compelling and credible.
Two Bonus Benefits:
Connective leaders become the glue that holds diverse people together around those sweet spots of shared interest.
1. Sought-after Leaders Today Are, By Nature, Connective
Connective leaders become the glue that holds diverse people together around those sweet spots of shared interest. They make sure that all the members know exactly why they are involved and what they bring to the table. Looking back on our lives, these experiences will be some of the most memorable.
“Leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders,” said Tom Peters. In our increasingly complex yet connected world, those who can “flex” behaviors to become the glue that holds diverse teams and new initiatives together will probably become our most valued leaders and partners.
Tip: Become an Opportunity Maker who can recruit the right mix of people in different professions and industries to tackle problems or capture opportunities related to your top interest and talent.
2. Recognizing Your Many Facets Makes You More Nimble and Constructive
“Complex selves are good for coping with diversity. The more facets you have to yourself, the more tools you have to deal with a variety of circumstances,” finds psychologist Patricia Linville. When you appreciate your own complexity, your default assumption about people on the other side of the cultural divide is not that they’re incompetent, uncaring or evil. Instead, your first guess is that they are operating according to different cultural cycles.
Tip: When someone does something to which you have a strong negative or a positive response, remember they may have a different reason for acting that way than you would have if you did the same thing. Look further to see an underlying pattern so you can glimpse their “operating system” and then lead them in ways they will want to follow.
By Kare Anderson
What if a company built each component of its product from scratch with every order, without any standardized or consistent parts, processes, and quality-assurance protocols? Chances are that any CEO would view such an approach as a major red flag preventing economies of scale and introducing unacceptable levels of risk—and would seek to address it immediately. Yet every day this is how many organizations approach the development and management of artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics in general.
Rising polarization is unlikely to disappear anytime soon, and it can have severe ramifications for businesses, whether they take a public stance or not. However, by taking a selective and strategic approach, CEOs can reduce the harm of polarization first within their own companies.
The marketplace for talent has shifted. You need to think of your employees like customers and put thoughtful attention into retaining them. This is the first step to slow attrition and regain your growth curve. And this does not happen when they feel ignored in the fever to hire new people or underappreciated for the effort they make to keep business moving forward. They need to be seen for who they are and what they are contributing, and leadership needs to ensure this is happening. The authors offer four steps for leaders to take.