Earlier this month, I participated in The Women’s Business Forum, a gender balanced leadership conference that this year focused on the business benefits of a gender and diversity balanced workforce.
In one of the first sessions, Dr Ines Wichert, Senior Psychologist at Kenexa, presented some striking data from a recent research project she had conducted on the business case for diversity. Specifically, companies with a strong diversity climate score four times higher on innovation than companies with a weak diversity climate. Strong diversity climates were also associated with considerably higher scores on customer orientation and performance confidence amongst employees.
Though hardly surprising, these numbers are a good reminder that diversity breeds innovation. Just as diverse perspectives and experiences within an organisation promote innovation, innovation can be boosted by engaging a diverse crowd outside of your organization. Indeed, it is partially for this reason that organizations use @Work, our internal challenge platform, to challenge employees across multiple departments to tackle in one group’s specific challenges. SMEs with a limited crowd, or organizations who find their own crowd not sufficiently diverse, frequently borrow ours.
Regardless of how you choose to do it, the positive correlation between diversity and innovation is one to keep in mind!
Authored by Siobhán Gibney Gomis, Director of Business Development, InnoCentive