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How to Foster Innovation Through Diverse Workgroups.

Excerpt:

Diverse teams can produce better results for your company. Here’s how to incorporate diversity—and individuality—to create a more innovative business.

The working theory proposed that people from diverse backgrounds, be it race, age, gender, or geography, could approach a problem from different viewpoints, and, armed with a collective range of knowledge and experience, produce a better finished product. The theory also postulated that in order to overcome the differences in background, employees should downplay their personal identities in order to align themselves with the goals of the “team.”

Swann found that only partly true.

According to Swann, groups with members who “externalized their personal identities” (i.e. students who expressed individuality) were more successful than groups with members who tended to downplay their personalities. In essence, Swann found that diversity did indeed foster innovation—but only if that diversity was embraced by the group.

“Our research indicates that expressing personal identities in groups seems to have beneficial effects because those who express themselves are more likely to feel known and understood, because they actually are better known and understood,” Swann says. “Feeling known and understood causes people to open up, which can foster creative solutions to problems confronting the group.”
Read Entire Article: How to Foster Innovation Through Diverse Workgroups

By Eric Markowitz |  @EricMarkowitz   | Jan 28, 2011
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February 7, 2011 - Posted by | Job Search |

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