Managing Diversity generates innovation.

Oct 26, 2021

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    Professor Joseph Di Stefano and his team at the University of Lausanne have been instrumental in proving that the capacity for innovation lies in inclusive groups in any human organisation.

    The research was carried out in countries (USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan and Germany) and 72 groups of companies and institutions in those countries.

    Most groups or work teams in organisations are homogeneous. It is made up of people with very similar profiles. And these teams decide the obsolescence of the company because their components share the same ideas and they are in a comfort zone that is comfortable for the company because they do not generate conflicts.

    The next largest number of working groups in organisations is made up of people with different profiles, who in the globalisation and increasing mobility of people of all profiles are joining companies. These groups represent a source of conflict.

    The least numbered groups in organisations are the inclusive diverse groups. That is, they are made up of people with different demographic and cultural profiles but who have been trained to respect, accept and enhance their differences. These groups are the generators of the company's capacity for innovation and therefore of its sustainability in ever-changing scenarios.

    Professor Di Stephano's team designed a training tool called MPI (mapping, puenting, inclusion) that fosters inclusion in all kinds of groups.

    It is about those working together formally sharing information about their cultures and their behaviours in the team. That is, exchanging information on the cultural map of each person in the team in order to know their reactions and contributions, to understand their behaviour and then to build bridges between them so that these differences are intentionally turned into an asset and not into conflicts. This culminates in the desired inclusion, as differences and contributions are appreciated, which generates innovation and efficiency for the organisation.

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