How diversity, equity, and inclusion promote business innovation

Business innovation is based on unique perspectives and new ideas. At the forefront of innovation is diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Having different perspectives from teammates who come from different backgrounds ensures that your team approaches the problem from different angles, and this can lead to a faster solution. Diverse teams are also easier to adapt to change, reach more potential customers and offer opportunities for breakthrough change.

As leaders in their fields, members of the Fast Company Executive Board understand the importance of innovation and the role of diversity, equity and inclusion in achieving them. Below 14 of them talk about the most effective ways DEI stimulates innovation.

1. INCREASING COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PEOPLE AND BRANDS

DEI is the foundation on which the future of innovation must be built. Diverse thinking, collective beliefs, different experiences and perspectives, inform about innovation for all and help us to connect brands with ALL people, not just with traditional people from digital technologies. “My Stephen, barbarian.”

2. BETTER RESULTS AND WIDER CUSTOMER BASE

If you’re trying to solve a problem for someone whose shoes you’ve never worn, you’re unlikely to hit the label. Divergent thinking based on human-centered design thinking, which includes a variety of thoughts, leads to better results. We go beyond our own expertise and design solutions that can meet the needs of a wider customer base or solve problems for underserved markets. – Shannon Lucas, Catalyst Constelations

3. INNOVATION AND INSPIRATION FROM NEW PLACES

A more diverse and inclusive team is likely to draw inspiration from different locations to create something new. Part of equity is often ignored. Teams that work in a fair environment, including fair pay, are more likely to feel respected and trusted. These factors promote better knowledge sharing and collaboration, which stimulates innovation. – Lee Doe, Identiv

4. DIFFERENT IDEAS AND OPINIONS

Diversity is innovation. If someone is not like you, he thinks differently than you do, which often means they can help you. Think differently! – Duncan Wardle, iD8 and innov8

5. CREATIVITY AND REFERENCE

Consideration of different preconditions and points of view evokes creativity, openness and diligence in the mind when introducing something new – be it a new product, service or internal process. Awareness and understanding of different points of view allows you to challenge the status quo, think about different opportunities and develop new and better ideas. – Ken Thompson, AlignOrg Solutions

6. UNIQUE POINTS OF VIEW

With a diverse team companies can use unique perspectives, perspectives and expertise to advance their business. An inclusive workplace also helps organizations address any unconscious biases that may affect recruitment, evaluation, and promotion. “Carl Oliver, Robin.”

7. THROWS OUT GROUP THOUGHT

The more ideas and perspectives on the table, the more creative you will be as a team. Diversity creates stability; this ensures that decisions are not overly indexed by group thinking or personal preferences because you are balanced in your approach. The more diverse the room and conversation, the greater the prospect you have. – Lisa Streif, Knopman Marks Financial Training

8. DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO THE PROBLEM

We all come from different walks of life and therefore have different perspectives on the world around us. It’s easy to think you know what someone else went through, but most likely you don’t. The more people from different walks of life you include in your creative team, the more likely you are to create something innovative because you will approach it from different angles. – Jason Hall, five channels

9. MORE QUICK ADAPTATION

Diversity, equity and inclusion allow organizations to understand and innovate through multiple lenses with an open mind. This growing perspective allows us to identify and discuss new innovations that are more constructive and open to rapid iteration or adaptation. – Fehzan Ali, Adscend Media LLC

10. A MORE HONEST BOARD

A large body of research indicates that different teams are more innovative (and lead to excellent results in revenue from innovation), for example, this is a recent study. The wide variety of perspectives and experiences that people bring to the table pushes thinking out of the realm of “presenting confirmation”. Thus, it is necessary for leaders to be able to create spaces where several voices are present. – Amaya Weddle, gang

11. FURTHER UNDERSTANDING OF ALL CUSTOMERS

The most innovative ideas come from an empathic understanding of customers and their problems. And the best way to understand and invent for customers is through a diverse lens of a diverse, global, inclusive team working to apply different perspectives to collaboratively create a solution. This is the kind of team that everyone should be able to be a part of. – Barry Fiske, Merkel

12. MORE CONFIDENTIAL SWEETS

DEI promotes affiliation, authenticity and collaboration. Providing our employees with a platform to enhance their voice in a large company ensures that we accept cross-sectionalism and encourages empathy. By developing inclusion and diversity, we provide the best employee experience, customer experience and achieve more innovation in our business. – Jason VandeBoom, ActiveCampaign

13. REVISED MARKETING MESSAGES

DEI fuels innovation by helping businesses create great marketing messages. Marketing content that works well in one country will not necessarily affect another. It’s hard to gauge how your content is perceived in other cultures, but with a more diverse workforce you’ll get information on how to create new messages that innovate your marketing tactics. – Saed Balkhi, WPBeginner

14. PARUNAL CHANGES

Innovation is groundbreaking change, and in our current world, diversity, equity and inclusion are the definition of it. As our society evolves, how we understand each other – from one person to another – comes to the fore. The more we understand the importance of these elements, the closer we will become not only with our employees but also with our customers. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency

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