Juvenile Justice Advocate
Think Different? Real diversity means getting past groupthink.
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Don’t assume that meeting your diversity goals will help you avoid groupthink. People who look different may agree on pretty much everything.

Diversity was never supposed to be limited to skin color, gender, or ethnicity. It also promised to help generate a broader range of thoughts, opinions, and perspectives—and help overcome the curse of groupthink.

Any number of recent articles and books have urged executive teams and corporate boards to foster discussion and disagreement. Only from constructive conflict, we’ve been told, can out-of-the-box opinions and ideas emerge. In short, everyone—really, everyone—agrees that groupthink should be avoided like the plague and that new ideas are as good as gold.

But even though most big companies long ago established formal diversity goals and programs, initiatives aimed at creating fresh ideas, planting the seeds of greater innovation and fostering contrarian views that serve as a hedge against costly mistakes, have—with relatively few exceptions—failed.

Miserably.


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