The Power of Different Perspectives: How Organizations Benefit from Diversity of Thought


Imagine a room full of mirrors reflecting the same image back at you. Sure, it’s familiar, but where’s the inspiration? Where’s the spark of something new? That’s the danger of homogenous groups in the workplace — they become echo chambers, prone to groupthink and confirmation bias, stifling creativity and innovation. That’s why embracing the power of different perspectives is no longer a feel-good option but a strategic necessity for success.

At reacHIRE, we’ve seen firsthand the transformative impact of bringing together individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Our returner-to-work programs, designed to reintegrate professionals after career breaks, have exposed us to a wealth of fresh insights and unique approaches. This isn’t just a feel-good initiative — it’s about inserting a diversity of thought from the varied life journeys different returners bring into an organization who have been outside the traditional career path.

Why is diversity of thought so powerful? Research shows that diverse teams outperform homogeneous ones in creativity, decision-making, and overall performance. Not only do diverse teams make better decisions 87% of the time, but they are also 35% more productive. The magic lies in a concept called cognitive diversity, where team members approach problems from different angles based on their unique backgrounds and perspectives. Consider this: an executive might prioritize profitability, while an engineer would focus on feasibility. By merging these viewpoints, you unlock more innovative solutions that single-minded thinking could never dream of.

But diversity isn’t just about ticking a box. It’s about challenging assumptions and broadening horizons. When different voices and stories are heard, we develop empathy, gain a deeper understanding of others’ needs and concerns, and, ultimately, build a more inclusive workplace. This is especially crucial when considering products, support, and go-to-market strategies. Having a team that reflects your target market ensures you’re not just creating for a faceless demographic but for real people with diverse needs and aspirations.

So, how do we harness this power in our own organizations? Here are some practical tips:

  • Be on the lookout for diverse sources of talent: Actively seek out talent from varied backgrounds and experiences. This goes beyond just filling the bill; it’s about building a team that truly reflects the richness of the world around us. And it’s not just about gender and ethnic background but different sets of life experiences too. Consider untapped, diverse talent pools, such as individuals who have taken a career break and are looking to return to the workforce. Companies have found that this group provides a fresh perspective on problems, bringing decades of experience and a strong sense of loyalty to their company and its mission.
  • Ensure diversity at all levels: For every 100 men promoted from entry-level to manager, 87 women are promoted. Underrepresented groups have different leadership development needs to succeed and advance in organizations. We have found that tailoring leadership development programming to meet the unique needs of underserved populations significantly ramps up promotion rates.
  • Bring in outside perspectives: Invite guest speakers, partner with diverse organizations, or even consider crowdsourcing ideas to broaden your horizons.
  • Assign a devil’s advocate: Assign someone to play the contrarian role in meetings, encouraging the team to consider alternative viewpoints. Imagine the innovative ideas you can generate by considering multiple perspectives. 
  • Discover shared ground: Beyond differences, focus on finding commonalities that create a sense of belonging and connection within your team. This is where programs like reacHIRE’s Leadership Development Program and its team-based learning model truly shine, fostering interaction and understanding amongst individuals from diverse backgrounds across an organization.
  • Foster inclusive communication: Create channels where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions. Open forums, surveys, and anonymous feedback mechanisms can be helpful tools.
  • Celebrate diversity: Recognize and appreciate the unique contributions of each team member. This fosters a sense of belonging and encourages everyone to bring their best selves to the table.

Remember, diversity isn’t just about ticking boxes; it’s about unlocking the full potential of your organization. By embracing the power of different perspectives, organizations unlock a wealth of creativity, innovation, and performance potential.

Ready to learn more? Check out our resources on diversity and inclusion, or contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workplace where everyone feels valued, heard, and empowered to contribute their unique perspective.