Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why Innovation Needs Diversity

My other passion, besides creativity, is diversity. Yet, when most people think of diversity they often think only of superficial differences like race, gender, etc. To me, diversity is so much more and that's what makes it important for creating real innovation.

In author Debbe Kennedy's book, Putting Our Differences to Work, she expands the standard definition of diversity to include such factors as generational insights, problem solving approaches and think origins. With a broader definition of diversity, we can see how bringing together people from all different groups affects brainstorming and innovation.

Imagine an idea generating session that only included individuals with the same backgrounds, work habits or experiences. The end result would probably be pretty boring, and well more of the same. Scott Page, author of The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools and Societies, concurs with this view of the power of diversity to push innovation forward.

So why does he think diverse groups of problem-solvers are more successful than similarly minded groups? Because, according to Page, the diverse groups have more perspectives, which fuels idea generation and ultimately, innovation.
  • Increase the diversity in your problem-solving sessions and see what happens!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Creativity in Business

Not too long ago, I mentioned the term "creativity in business" to a colleague, who promptly responded, "Isn't that an oxy moron?"

Yes, most people don't think of creativity when they think about business. That's why the Creativity in Business Conference held earlier this month in Washington, DC was so important. We need to debunk this myth that creativity can not exist in the work world, more specifically the business world.

While I couldn't attend the conference, I am happy to share with you some of the blog recaps of the event with the hope that you will see that creativity and business can co-exist and do so successfully!

  • Has your opinion of creativity and business changed?