We love the familiar, the recognisable, the known. And when it comes to picking a team member, many people are looking for a clone. Men recruit men. Creatives recruit creatives. Number crunchers recruit number crunchers. It’s easier to relate. It’s kind of natural.
The result? Male, white (golf loving) senior leaders. Finance teams that don’t get what customers want. Marketing teams that can’t do the numbers.
The clone armies spell trouble. McKinsey found that firms with diverse boards achieve 53% more return on equity, and 14% higher EBIT margins than the least diverse companies. That’s a lot of cash left on the table, simply because firms get teams wrong.
In business, most teams lack a potent fuel for impact: diversity.
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Next time you pick a team member, give someone a chance who’s your exact opposite.
Consider an extrovert, if you are an introvert. A number cruncher, if you are an artist. A trouble maker, if you accommodate.
Your skills are already here. More clones will help you get the work done. Diverse people will help you reach new frontiers. Don’t just look for people who ‘fit’, look for people who ‘add’.
(From my Marketing Week column)