The first question you may ask me is, “What is 2D diversity?” The answer is: it’s two dimensions of diversity, and it covers inherent (gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation) and acquired (skills and education) traits. Market leaders will always have a tie in with being innovative, and if you look at innovation as the body of an organization, then creativity and diversity are two of its most powerful muscles. The ability to cultivate creativity is a key aspect for growth within your organization; doing this not only requires constant, fresh ideas, but it also requires cohesive teamwork and a company culture that strives to challenge the status quo.
Often times, organizations will look for the “most qualified” person by conducting a deep search in the top tier of candidates. Rather than digging within a narrow demographic, companies who have embraced diversity have stretched their searches to taking the time to find people from different backgrounds who have various skills, viewpoints and personalities. They know that a diverse team will help challenge the norm, spot opportunities, and initiate new ways to identify and solve problems.
When stretching your innovation muscles, you can’t forget to fuel the entire “body” or company. Here are some tips to fostering diversity within your organization:
- Have a plan. Have a strategy in place for hiring with diversity in mind. Make sure your job descriptions and marketing materials have culturally-sensitive dialogue to attract a more diverse candidate pool. Evaluate your current practices and eliminate anything that may act as deterrents to a diverse and inclusive workplace.
- Promote cross-cultural awareness.Initiate a proper diversity program and make efforts such as having cross-cultural celebrations, leadership summits, diversity-assessment tools and competency training; all of these things will all help generate and maintain cross-cultural awareness.
- Host team-training and education.Once your team is picked, it’s important to retain members and ensure that they have a healthy environment that they can thrive in. Grow their unique skills and talents by making on-going training and education available at all times; it’s also important that management and leadership roles encourage their team members to utilize the educational tools made available to them.
Does your organization currently identify with these three practices? When you advance with 2D diversity, you are stretching your innovation muscles and opening doors for future growth!