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Tag Archives: Diversity
Most people know that diversity in their organizations is important. That is, most people have a vague sense that more diversity on their teams would lead to more innovation, higher creativity, stronger engagement, etc. But did you also know that …
Those organizations that will be winners in the marketplace will be the ones that leverage all of the talent of all of their employees, all of the time. — Herb Johnson, Chief Diversity Officer, Michelin North America
Alfred Sloan, when he ran General Motors in the 1920s and 1930s, would refuse to make a decision at a meeting if no one could argue a strong case against what was being proposed. He felt that if no one had any objections to what was being decided, it was because they had not thought long and hard enough about the question under consideration.
Alfred Sloan understood that the best ideas — along with the best decisions — are forged in the crucibles of healthy conflict. If there are no objections leading up to a decision, then either people just aren’t trying hard enough or your team isn’t working on hard enough problems. Clear thinking, innovation, and good decisions depend on diverse perspectives and opposing points of view.
Healthy conflict can be a tense arena. It takes bold leaders to create a safe space where everyone can be heard. And it takes confident followers to speak their mind even when they hold a minority point of view.