Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Diversity Fuels Creativity

Greetings from Singapore, where I have been attending the annual Executive MBA Conference with other leaders from across the globe who run these programs at various universities.  This is always a mentally stimulating meeting in which thought leaders from top corporations and universities share what they believe today’s – and tomorrow’s – executives need to thrive in our ever-changing world.

One continuing theme I heard from many speakers – and that we all know is true – is the need for organization’s today to be continually innovative and creative.  But how do we do that?

A number of speakers stressed the importance of diversity and divergent thinking among leadership teams as a way to fuel innovation.  Today’s leaders need to:

“Be Flexible”

“Value Differences.  Believe that difference is good.”

“Influence others without using authority.”

“Foster a culture where people feel free to speak their mind.”

One speaker said “Don’t allow hierarchy to squash innovation.”

All of this is easier said than done.  It means that you, as a leader, need to proactively recruit people into your organization and onto your senior team who think differently than you do.  It will be uncomfortable and require you to work through conflicting viewpoints.

It would be a lot easier to hang out with people who pretty much think the same way you do.  But if you do that, you are unlikely to continually produce innovative, breakthrough ideas.

Leveraging the divergent views and talents of others is more important to making a Mission Impact than ever before.

For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

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