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So the $64,000 dollar question is this – if diversity of thought is so important to the future success of any organisation, how can you make it a reality? The first point to make is that, as has been said, diversity of thought involves a new way of thinking about thinking. So be prepared not simply to act differently but to take a different approach to how – and importantly, why – you act. For example …
Open up to real feedback
Don’t simply go through the motions of asking people what they think about something you’ve done or propose to do. Have the courage to draw out the real views that may otherwise be hidden by groupthink. For example, instead of asking for general comments, ask people specifically what they didn’t or don’t like.
Try reverse mentoring
Traditional mentoring has proven to be highly successful for minority groups. But what might happen if you tried it the other way around? What if the younger or less experienced or the underrepresented members of an organisation were genuinely invited to offer advice and guidance to the leadership elite. What new insights might the organisation gain?
Reassess your approach to recruitment
As was noted in Chapter 3, we tend to recruit, and promote, in our own image. If we are honest with ourselves, we all know that it’s easier to keep things on an even keel than to challenge the status quo. So make the effort to challenge your preconceptions about who might be right for a particular position.
We see the world not as it is, but as we are. And that limits what any organisation can achieve. Diversity of thought offers a real opportunity to redress the balance.