I’ve lived in two dynamic American cities where I experienced and welcomed an amazing range of differing viewpoints — New York and digitally driven San Francisco. In the business world the real power of diversity lies in what it PREVENTS – a passive, obligatory, sheepish groupthink.
Groupthink = people aren’t allowed to express how they feel, they don’t take initiative, raise concerns, or step up to constructively critic business operations and practices. Sheepish groupthink stifles innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
Creating a thought diversity atmosphere is all about accepting and welcoming different viewpoints. There are three things you can do to foster it on your team, and in your organization and particularly in your meetings;
1. Establish ground rules – where it’s completely safe to disagree.
2. Embrace the outlier aka the devils advocate – the person with a different viewpoint should be welcomed and not shunned.
3. Hold your views lightly – set your judgment aside.
When we build cultures of thought diversity feedback is welcomed too. Each person’s feedback is heard, valued and they are truly encouraged to grow and develop.
This is blog 92 and I like things to line up spiritually. Psalm 92:10 says “you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox.” The horn of an animal is used in the bible as a symbol of power. The wild ox raises it horn with pride and confidence.
There is power in welcoming, creating and accepting thought diversity. Again, why? It prevents non-courageous, sheepish, complicit groupthink.