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Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter

Diversity is the span of difference in your concerned area, features, and aspects. But when you talk about diverse teams, it involves people from different genders, backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, and the list goes on to add as many names as you remember. Nowadays, it is said that diverse teams are smarter than non-diverse teams. This research considers diversity a key to improving productivity, but smartness cannot be confined to mere productivity. Many reasons make diverse teams smarter, and this smartness provides you a lot of benefits than simply the profits. No doubt, profit is vital for the organization’s survival, but there is more to achieve in the game of survival.

If you want to know why diverse teams are smarter, you must learn about the factors that make the diverse team smarter than the conventional ones. And the inclusion of benefits and advantages from that diverse team will also make the picture clearer to you.

Let’s start with the reasons and factors that make the diverse team smarter with the addition of benefits as well:

1. Innovation and Creativity

The diversity pays off in every genre. But the more significant one is enhanced creativity and innovation. When you create a team with diverse backgrounds and experience, the result is a creative team with every member having a set of different solutions to a single problem. And this creativity is also scientifically proven to confirm the smartness of the diverse teams.

Boston Consulting Group conducted research that took the samples from the eight countries and 1700 companies working in different locations, markets, and settings. This study looked for the increase in creativity and innovation with its realization in terms of productivity. The researchers found that the teams with diverse members were able to show 19% more results than the conventional teams, with the members having almost the same sorts of members.

The creativity and innovation of the diverse team are vibrantly visible in various countries and workplace settings. Every individual brings a personal perspective on the solution, which shows all the team members another approach to solve the problem. When there are various solutions to a single problem fabricating the high-yielding innovative solutions becomes a piece of cake and makes the diverse teams stand tall in productivity, creativity, and innovation.

 

2. Effectiveness and Efficiency

Another aspect that reveals the diverse team’s smartness is the effectiveness and efficiency in decision-making and problem-solving. A study published in Forbes reveals this fact more precisely. Cloverpop, a software company, conducted this study to get the scientific numbers regarding the diverse teams’ efficiency and effectiveness. The main work of the company is to provide decision-making software to the organizations. The research revealed various vital aspects for the organizations by breaking multiple myths.

There are several levels in the research, but all of them are mainly regarding the efficiency and effectiveness of the teams. Two hundred business teams were under study in factual circumstances, and all the teams had to make real-time decisions on 600 different problems and changes in the environment. The teams and their members had different levels of diversities which helped the researchers indicate the accurate performance level in terms of varying diversity levels.

The first level reveals that when you have more than one person responsible for decision-making, the effectiveness increases with efficiency compared to the single individual. The performance level increased 58% when all-male team members were responsible for making the decision.

The performance rose to 73% when there was a mix of male and female team members. The increase in diversity in terms of gender gave fruit in terms of productivity and efficient decisions that suited best according to the circumstances. But when the teams were made from the members of different genders, backgrounds, and geographical locations, the performance rose to a staggering 87% for better performance than any other team.

 

3. More Diffusion

Diverse teams are smarter in terms of diffusion and acceptance in various areas and settings. When you have a diverse team, the members of different ethnicities and backgrounds will make it easier for your organization to understand the settings and situation. They will likely get more infused with the variables.

The diffusion in different cultures and settings will offer you more profits in all the different settings. More diffusion means more control over variables and factors that will enhance the organizations’ profit and ROI. A study conducted by McKinsey & Co revealed that the companies with diverse teams had more than 21% above average profit than the top key players in the same market with less diverse teams.

The research spanned over 12 countries, and there were 100 companies in different settings and markets. All the companies with diverse teams on the higher level indicated an increase in profit and more return on investment from their every decision, which add more to the organization than the teams with less diversity.

 

4. Wider Range of Skills

Another reason for the smartness of the diverse team is a wider range of skills and approaches. This range of skills needs to be witnessed on two different levels. One on a higher level and the other is on a lower level. When you have diverse members on a higher level, this indicates that all the members of the team have different backgrounds and approaches to look at the problems. This difference in perspective helps the organization come out of the most complex situation and scenario without damaging the reputation and negatively affect the organization’s growth.

On the lower level, when teams have to outperform others within the organization or meet a volatile environment’s demands, a wider range of skill sets will help them look at the problem more innovatively. They will have the required skillset to find the best solution to come out of the situation in the most magnificent way.

The volatile and complex environment of the current markets is more capricious than a few years back. This highly changing environment will require a different skill set to attend to all the changing variables and unique situations which might not have seen before. When you don’t have a pre-written solution to the problem, creativity isn’t the only solution to this problem. A creative solution will require a certain set of skills that can be found in a diverse team.

 

5. Enhanced Insights

When you have team members from the same background and ethnicity, they all will have somewhat similar insight into the situation at hand. Most of the time, you need heterogeneous insight to develop a solution for a unique problem, which cannot be possible without diversity.

Workers from diverse backgrounds, walks of life, and ethnicity tend to have varying approaches and understanding of the problem. This diversity helps the team leader to have the correct understanding of all the different variables involved in the scenario. And come up with the best possible solution to get things done more smartly.

Suppose your team is tasked to come up with the solution to a unique or complex problem. The thing which you cannot overlook is the correct weightage of variables. Without heterogeneous insights and approaches, team members usually miss the important variables and don’t reach the level to grasp the situation fully. This, in turn, will lead to the failure of the team. But when you have a diverse team to grapple with the situation. Their varying insights and approaches to look for the solutions and different variables make them smarter and stronger. The diverse team always comes up with a better understanding of all the variables involved in the unique problem. Organizations tend to offer the unique problem to the most diverse team they have and get things done perfectly.

 

6. More Focus on Facts

In the organization, the most important thing that defines the smartness of the teams and individuals is correct decision-making. When you have homogeneous teams, the decision-making authenticity decreases the most. A homogeneous team tends to ignore facts, and the members behave in almost a similar way to look at the facts and decide accordingly. There are high chances that most team members will make similar mistakes and remain blind to similar facts. This is not a mere hypothesis; there are various studies and researches to prove this notion.

The journal of personality and social psychology has taken this notion and researched homogeneous and diverse jury teams’ decision-making process. The study proved that diverse teams are smarter and pay more attention to facts by the following process. There were 200 people divided into different mock jury teams made of homogeneous judges and heterogeneous judges. There was a combination of white and black judges in one jury. And both of the remaining jury teams had only black and only white judges, respectively.

They were shown the videos of white and black culprits and were asked to give their verdict and define whether the person in the footage was guilty or not. The results were astonishing as the team with heterogeneous members was more focused on facts, and everyone behaved to look for the fact in a heterogeneous team. While on the homogeneous teams, there was less focus on facts, and jury teams didn’t prove much authentic.

 

7. Careful Thinking

The diverse teams are smarter because of the careful thinking in the presence of people from other backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. Katherine Phillips of Northwestern University researched with her team, which was published in Personality and Social Psychology. This research was conducted to study the carefulness and confidence of the team members on a particular decision.

The researchers divided the fraternity members into four-member groups. The task assigned to the members was to look for evidence gathered by detectives and guess the murder suspect from the given pieces of evidence. One new member was added to the group after five minutes in specific groups, and the other remained intact and didn’t receive any new member during the decision-making process.

The results were very productive for the researchers as the groups with a new member were more successful in finding the real suspect in the newcomer’s presence. And the group, with the absence of the newcomer, was not that successful.

When you apply the theme and process of this research in an organization to find out the solution to a particular problem, the group’s heterogeneity adds more authenticity to the team’s decisions and statements. As every member paid special attention to the process. All of the embers were more conscious, and they looked to the facts with special attention and care in the presence of the members from a different fraternity.

 

8. Openness

The diverse teams tend to be smarter than the homogeneous teams because of the openness in their ideas, approaches, and solutions to the problems at hand. When you have a homogeneous team, the thing missing the most is the variety of approaches and opinions to come up with a unique solution to the problem. The markets have become more capricious, and afar every day, the organizations have to face more complex scenarios. The homogeneous teams are not that much useful in such volatile scenarios.

The team members’ openness in a diverse team pays off in terms of profit, wise decisions, and unique solutions to the unique problem. Organizations mostly assign complex scenarios to the diverse teams who came up with the most innovative idea to get the situation under control and allow the organization to survive, sustain and thrive. Diverse team members look at the situation from their perspective and offer a unique way of addressing the problems.

The team leader of the diverse team cannot guarantee the ultimate solution without allowing the members to share their opinions and ideas. This oneness translates into success and profitability in all sorts of markets and environments. Managers worldwide are relying more on diverse teams to get the maximum out of the team members.

 

9. Global Impact

Nowadays, organizations are playing global, and you cannot depend on a homogeneous team to provide you with insight into the different markets. There are various cultural barriers and norms which you must not challenge while offering your products to a particular community. Various examples of organizations and companies have suffered a severe loss by providing products and services that annoyed the community’s people.

It is always a good thing to board the community member as your employee in the decision-making process to allow you to have an insight into the community members and people in the market you are going to offer your products. A diverse team is always considered to be smarter in the situation when you have to play in an extended market. Nowadays, all countries have become global, and there are stakeholders in every country and market with different ethnicities and creeds. You cannot risk losing your prestige by making a wrong decision.

A diverse team is a smart way of addressing such issues and reach to more people. A homogeneous team will only focus on the facts, norms, and cultural biases of their ethnicity and creed. While a diverse team will look for all the facts and barriers on the global level wand will offer you a smart and wise decision in every situation.

 

10. Continuous Personal and Professional Growth

Another essential factor that adds to the diverse team’s smartness is the chance of continuous growth in terms of personal and professional aptitude. The diverse teams share their experiences and insights on different problems and scenarios. The decision-making process is brainstorming that allows all the team members to tell their perspectives and offer the solution to the problem. When all the team members get the chance to get an idea of different perspectives and solutions to the same problem, the result is enhanced vision and personal growth.

Professional behaviors require them to listen to what the other team member has to offer even if they disagree. It induces tolerance in the individual, and the ongoing daily sessions and working together will make the individuals learn more about the cultures and norms of their fellow team members. The result will be enhanced exposure and a broader perspective that will groom the team members in their professional and personal life.

The diverse team’s continuous training and education will make them more fulfilled in their professional and personal life without making them notice this transition. But everyone around in the reorganization will get the notion that the team is getting smarter and more productive because of the unique solutions and wiser decisions in various situations.

 

Conclusion

The volatile market and changing scenarios have made things more difficult for the decision-makers. And they have come up with the ultimate solution to this problem. The only solution to the problems of today is a diverse team. Diversity is the key to profitability, but at the same time, it also offers the organization unique and effective solutions. This notion is backed by researches ad studies published in various journals. All the researches lead to one thing that diverse teams are smarter than homogeneous ones. And in this article, we have mentioned all the different reasons and factors to answer the question and understand why diverse teams are smarter than homogeneous teams.

Diverse teams are smarter because of the members having a different background, ethnicity, and cultural upbringing. These varying personality traits and approaches allow individuals to develop unique and innovative solutions to problems and situations. This uniqueness always pays in terms of profit and sustainability. Diverse teams are the ultimate solution to the issues and problems at hand. Organizations are making diverse teams in terms of gender, religion, ethnicity, and creed to get the maximum out of every individual.

2021-04-07
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