Right now, no matter the type of business you’re in, or the size of your organization, your company is at risk of becoming irrelevant. Why? Business owners and leaders get stuck in their current business models and fail to keep pace with changing markets.
How do you avoid this pitfall to protect your business and maintain a competitive edge?
You need to build innovation into your company's DNA. Your business should be agile and flexible with an ability to adjust in real time.
Tapping into the creativity of your company's team is one way to help you identify new opportunities and initiatives. However, if your staff members all look the same and think the same way it's difficult to unleash real creativity. Diversity is critical to an organization's ability to innovate.
A Harvard Business Review article notes a body of recent research that says non-homogenous teams are smarter. When you work with people who are different from you, you’re challenged to think in different ways. You shed your stale ways of thinking and are pushed out of the autopilot habits that have limited performance. We’re always talking about thinking “out of the box”; it’s impossible to do if everyone at the table thinks alike.
Additionally consider this, a 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15 percent more likely to have returns above the industry mean.
There is one more important element to consider in today's changing workforce -- generational diversity. Millennials (born between 1982 and 2000), now out-number Baby Boomers according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This change in demographics is having an interesting impact on the workplace.
Millennials and Baby Boomers often clash when working together. Baby Boomers view Millennials as unmotivated slackers, while Millennials see Baby Boomers as rigid and out-dated. But each group can bring much to the table, learn from each other, and help your organization become more innovative and creative. The bottom line is, Millennials are the future of business.