The evidence is clear – there’s value in diversity.
Research pretty clearly shows that businesses with greater overall diversity are more innovative and have higher profitability when compared with the averages. But to tap into the ideas and perspectives of people with diverse physical characteristics and backgrounds, you have to build trust. That means tapping into our tribal nature and making your workplace a modern tribe.
But here’s the thing about ‘trust’…
We’re tribal by nature
For hundreds of generations, we have lived and associated in tribes. For most of that time, you could identify fellow members of the tribe because they looked, acted and had the same rituals as you.
The power of the tribe was that fellow tribe members could be trusted to looked after each other. They could be trusted to play their role in service of the tribe.
People outside of the tribe were viewed as a potential threat…they weren’t to be trusted!
Some would say that tribal nature is so ingrained that it’s impossible to build trust among people that look, act and think differently. That you can’t break through different social roles, status hierarchies and biases to embrace a common purpose.
In other words, genetically, we’re f#@%ed if we want to bring diversity to the modern tribe – to the modern workplace.
Or are we?!
Because here’s the thing about ‘tribes’…
In a tribe, everyone’s contribution is valued because the survival of the tribe depends on it.
And, it’s equally true in the business environment – more so now than at any time in the last 125 years. The secret to building a thriving organisation is humanising the workplace – creating a workplace where everyone’s unique skills, experience and perspectives are valued. Because it’s being ‘seen’ for our humanness that engages us. And it’s engagement that drives creativity, innovation and, ultimately, performance.