Inclusive leadership means building diverse teams
In my previous March post for Pro Bono News, I discussed how effective Australian not-for-profit leaders are resourceful, inclusive and empowering. A key component of inclusiveness involves promoting diversity in teams and building diverse leadership teams.
Diversity improves performance
High performing teams are teams with well-balanced gender diversity as well as a good mix of ethnic and racial diversity.
The evidence supports this conclusion with a recent McKinsey report showing that organisations in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management are 35 per cent more likely to produce financial returns above the industry mean. Similarly, organisations in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15 per cent more likely to have returns above the industry mean.
But diversity extends beyond this to having a team with a broad range of skills and experience, varied emotional intelligence and capacity, mixed age, seniority and beginners in industry and varied backgrounds, life and professional experience.
Case study: Neurodiversity
Neurodiversity is the latest type of diversity to attract strong interest both in the US and increasingly in Australia. This is the practice of recruiting a range of employees with diversity of neurological conditions. This has been shown to have positive effects for large multinational organisations such as EY and Microsoft.
The benefit or value of neurodiversity as with other forms of diversity listed above, are that they enable groups to form, comprised of people that have a great variance in the way that they think.
Solving the “wicked problems” of today calls for leaders who can quickly draw upon diverse, creative and adaptive thinking patterns.
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