Diversity in looks and background does not guarantee a diversity of thought; to be effective, groups also need to contain people with different thinking styles.
The writer argues that groups need people who think differently; however, not everybody agrees that 'diversity of thought' should be the outcome. See Six Reasons Why Diversity of Thought is Not Enough. However, this article makes the following points regarding the importance of diversity of thinking:
- An array of experiences might provide a team with a different perspective on established ideas.
- Exposure to a diversity of thought can be challenging and uncomfortable.
- Because people look different does not mean they think differently.
Diversity of thought can result in accepted ideas being challenged. Winston Churchill, for example, deliberately appointed Brooke as Chief of the Imperial General Staff because he knew Brooke was prepared to disagree with him. See: Churchill and the Generals:
'Brooke would look Churchill in the eye and say, "I flatly disagree"'.
Think about the benefits of forming teams that are diverse in all aspects—including thinking.
- Jan 2016 Churchill Project ‘Churchill and the Generals’ – by Mike Lepine
- Apr 2020 Inklusiiv Six Reasons Why Diversity of Thought is Not Enough
- June 2020 Leaders Edge How to Leverage Cognitive Diversity Within Your Team & Organization
- Oct 2020 Crain’s Chicago It's simple: Representation matters
- Feb 2021 Saberr Echo Chambers Not Welcome
- 2020 Diversity Social How to use Diversity of Thought and Cognitive Thinking to build a better workplace?