Together the panelists set the stage for a discussion about developing the right perspective on diversity by viewing it from yesterday, today and what it could/should be tomorrow.
This webcast highlighted the new definition of diversity, offering a live, fully immersive and integrated experience – a real-life example of how different perspectives together can provide more insightful solutions on how diversity can become your greatest asset for innovative growth and sustainability.
Our audience members were active participants in this knowledge quest, asking questions and participating in live polling. Questions were answered real-time and participants could begin to see the issue from many angles and reimagine their own possibilities for innovation to come to life through diverse collaboration.
Our conversation focused on four key areas.
1. Integrating human ingenuity
Today, the untapped potential of the human mind needs to be front and center on business leaders' minds.
Integrating diversity is imperative but can prove challenging – as diversity has been traditionally defined by overly simplified labels for gender, ethnicity, education or the like.
Proactive organizations are now redefining the definition of diversity: out with archaic labels and in with rethinking diversity in an entirely new perspective, one that recognizes diversity in terms of thought. They're redefining diversity to incorporate all the differences you can't see, from experiential to cognitive and so much more. This means organizations must take a whole new approach to looking at talent and becoming intentional and timely about integrating this new diversity power.
Cross training teams and including a true diversity of people – including workers with autism, dyslexia or ADHD – benefits everyone because that meeting of the minds serves to reimagine old problems and collaboratively imagine new solutions.
Our panelists had also seen more large organizations extending that intentionality to adopt startup principles such as the willingness to fail and the ability to recover quickly.
We polled our audience about how their organizations harness creativity and ingenuity, and the majority, 27%, said their primary method is "the encouragement of trial and error."
2. The impact of bringing five generations into the workforce
We couldn't hold a conversation about human ingenuity and innovation and not discuss this unique phenomenon: five generations in the workforce. I see tremendous opportunity in the coming-of-age of Gen Z. Millennials are still a dominant part of our workforce and are as important as ever. But organizations won't reap the benefits of Gen Z workers by looking at them as a younger version of millennials. They’re radically different.
Gen Z are digital natives interested in solutions and doing things differently very quickly – just as quick as consumers and technology change. This younger generation is therefore invaluable, helping to close the gap between organizations and consumers.
We polled our audience about how their organizations are managing differing expectations of multiple generations in the workplace. The majority, 47%, said their organization offers flexible work schedules to meet individual needs.
Panelist Mike Kanazawa echoed this sentiment, noting that if an organization's focus is on doing amazing things for customers – and if that purpose is clear – then no matter what a person's age or background, they'll have a clear sense of why they're there and how to contribute. "That's a starting point," he said.