Cognitive Diversity : sail through the unknown and surpass the initial goals
[Gaëlle Brunetaud Zaïd]
First of all, let me tell you something that might appear obvious but that most of all forget when we are working with other people : there is not one way of thinking, there is not one way to engage in situations, there is not one way to grasp the world. Deductive reasoning, logical deduction is the process of reasoning from one or more statements to reach a logically certain conclusion. It’s the kind of reasoning we learn at school. It’s the kind of reasoning that is the most obviously used in companies. This is used in business planning, budget reviews, etc. But not all people think that way. Some think with their intuition, they see things globally, they don’t try to cut down complexity, they make a personal synthesis and they turn complexity into coherence. When its comes to complexity, innovation, transformation, this way of thinking seems to be particularly efficient .... but there is room for everybody.
1-To innovate and reach sustainable performance we need to solve a paradox
1-Working together with our differences can be at first more complicated
I would like to make a short digression : Received wisdom is that the more diverse the teams in terms of age, ethnicity, and gender, the more creative and productive they are likely to be. But having run the execution exercise around the world more than 100 times over the last 12 years, Alison Reynolds and David Lewis (researchers) have found no correlation between this type of diversity and performance. Then they began to look more closely at cognitive diversity – it means how individuals think about and engage with new, uncertain, and complex situations. Their analysis shows a significant correlation between high cognitive diversity and high performance. From their perspective, value comes from cognitive diversity especially when managing new, uncertain, and complex situations.
2- But there is still a problem : all groups tend to smooth out rough edges to be able to work as a whole.
And the more people feel they are similar, the more rivalry grows. Rivalries poisons group efficiency.
So, what is at stake :
- We need to work together and take advantage of our differences
- We need to allow everyone to develop his/her own potential
- We need to encourage and accommodate divergent outlooks
- We need to allow all to benefit from each others (and, among other things, to develop cerebral and behavioral plasticity)
2-How to reach tremendous success
Here is what I observe :
- When we don’t look for performance, but aim for harmony,
- When we see diversity not as a business opportunity, but as an ethical priority
- When we don’t listen to the voice inside us that tells us “he is dumb, she is not thinking like me, he is focusing on stupid things” but open our heart to “what could I learn from him/her ; I don’t feel at ease with what she says but maybe she is seeing something I have been blind to, etc”,
- When we stop judging people,
- When we stop focusing on visible differences and focus on invisible things that bring us together
When we dare stepping into uncharted grounds, when we accept to feel uneasy, when we are able to let go of some of our certainties, then we can sail through the unknown and surpass the initial goals.
- When we dare stepping into uncharted grounds, when we accept to feel uneasy, when we are able to let go of some of our certainties, then we can sail through the unknown and surpass the initial goals.
- To reach something we never reached we need to do things we never did
When we reach harmony, we reach collective flow,
It is something that arises when we stop wanting to put people into boxes, when we stop wanting to adapt people to the processes, but when we really go from the people first.
There is a very subtle tipping point here
It is a question of interpersonal communication, personal opening and internal posture.
When you reach it, the group is more than the addition of all the individuals. There is a soul supplement, impossible becomes possible.
I sincerely hope you’ll get the opportunity to experience it.
If you want to experience it, please call us !