Promoting diversity of thought

Listening to a range of voices before making an important decision may sound like an invitation for delays. Yet it can actually improve your speed to market—if done right.

In an ever-accelerating business environment, here’s a conundrum familiar to most leaders: While it’s critical to get as much input from as many sources as possible before making decisions, how do you balance that process with the need to bring new products and services to market as quickly as possible?

In other words, how do you make sure diversity of thought in your organization is an asset and not an albatross? Here are a few overriding principles to keep in mind:

Diversity of thought must go beyond simply encouraging employee engagement. In the end, it has to be about your customers, and your organization’s ability to communicate the needs of those customers. If you have a workforce that understands and listens to your customer base, you can tap into that workforce for ideas, confident that the input you secure reflects the true needs of your end users.

It’s not just a matter of gender, race, or sexual identity. These are critical perspectives to secure, but diversity of thought is also about hearing from people with different backgrounds and schools of thought in terms of function, mindset, and even geography.

It needs to be face to face. In practice, all branches of the organization need to be represented when you’re deciding on a course of action—legal, compliance, risk, technology, and marketing all should be in the room, along with the business.

Read the full article @ LinkedIn

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