About a year or so ago, I stumbled across a blog post by Dan Bieler, Principal Analyst at Forrester, who resurfaced an often missed truth: “innovation requires a culture of diversity and inclusion.”
Today, innovation (and invention) rarely happens in a vacuum. A breakthrough is almost always an amalgam of ideas, concepts and investments made by many who work together toward a goal — with, at times, an unexpected outcome. Nevertheless, it is the range of experiences and the means to incorporate input of a variety of individuals that leads to new possibilities and transformation.
I have always found it difficult to conceive of innovation without incorporating diversity and inclusion — it is a triad that seems so obvious, but can be overlooked. I am wary of and sensitive to monocultures (which I wrote about back in 2012), and have made it part of my work to get beyond the comfort path that can be guided by blinders and exclusion. “Rigid ‘group think'” as Dan puts it, is not the way forward, and while one may achieve short term success, pivots will be necessary in order to survive, let a lone succeed.
Anyhow, if you haven’t read it before, Dan’s piece is definitely worth a look.