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Diverse Thinking Matters: Why You Should Hire People Who Don’t Agree With You
Introducing diversity into animal health organizations is one of the best ways to understand your customers and keep your company competitive. But all diversity is not the same.
What is diversity and why does it matter?
Most diversity work focuses on visible differences like age, gender and ethnicity. Studies show that increasing workforce diversity pays off, with increased business performance.
While we value age, gender and ethnic diversity and have seen the benefits at first hand, at Animal Health Jobs we see diversity through a different lens: The lens of diverse thinking.
If everyone agrees, you might have a problem
If everyone in your team agrees with a proposal, your team might be suffering from groupthink. Groupthink happens when team members are more concerned with group cohesion and consensus than with reaching the best decision. You might think everyone is expressing their opinions openly, but some could be holding back or hiding their opinions.
Or it could be that everyone in your team has the same perspective. The team is blind to its inability to consider different points of view. Either way, you get more of the status quo, less innovation.
Different ways of thinking
Through our work on developing talent, we have come to appreciate the different ways that people approach problems. They may make decisions based at least partly on emotions or strictly on the facts. They might give different weighting to individual experience or to book learning. They might decide quickly, or take some time to reflect.
“Encouraging diverse thinking requires bringing people with different innate talents and experiences together and letting them come to the best decision, not just the easiest one.” Bob Jones, President, Brakke Consulting and It’s All About People
When you have a group of people whose experiences and approaches to problem-solving are all the same, you get similar outputs. Mix up the group’s perspectives and you’ll spark exciting ideas to solve your toughest problems. In animal health terms, the best decisions come when you mix flashy toucans with black ravens, sparrows and blue jays and encourage them all to sing together.
Have you participated in the training exercise where groups were each given clay, a few pipe cleaners, and some coloured paper and asked to solve a problem? The most homogeneous teams usually have the fewest ideas, while the most diverse teams often choose from among several good ideas. That’s the power of diversity of thought.
Become the home of diverse thinking
If you want your company to be known as the place for animal health top talent, hire people who make you a little uncomfortable…the ones who challenge your assumptions with their own good ideas.
Find them by changing your hiring practices: Write role profiles that attract applicants from diverse work and cultural backgrounds, of all ages and years of experience. Look for candidates who speak up and speak out. Don’t limit yourself to candidates who have always been in the same or similar roles.
Hire people who think differently about the animal health business than you do. They will stretch your brain and stretch your company.
Continue hiring people who think like you do and you’ll soon watch your most creative talent fly to new coops. Companies that let them roost and crow out their ideas will beat your company to the sweet kernels of profit.
Animal Health Jobs can give you direct access to candidates with a wide range of experiences and thinking styles, all of whom know the animal health industry. Post your open role and find the best people in animal health, all in one place.
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