Tom Peters: “What Diversity Problem?”

extract from Tom Peters' The Pursuit of Wow
extract from Tom Peters’ The Pursuit of Wow

This is Tom Peters on Diversity in 1994’s The Pursuit of Wow!:

Diversity problem? Hurdle?

Diversity creates one and only one thing: opportunity.

Business, in the mad global marketplace [1994!], needs a rush of serious creativity. Creativity is, invariably, a byproduct of sparks, new views, juxtaposed interests etc. How does a company acquire those assets? Diversity!

It seems obvious to me that Cacophony Inc., a wild mixture of colors, sexes, styles and ages will almost automatically generate and pursue more interesting ideas than Homogeneity, Inc. My argument is a simple statistical one: The variety of experiences, from birth onward, captured in a [Diversity, Inc.] executive meeting is immensely greater … bringing hundreds of years of, um, diverse perspectives on everything from soup to software.

Is it a sea of tranquility? Of course not. Diversity implies clashes, subtle and overt. People … will bridle at what they feel are bizarre – and dumb – views held by others from time to time.

The point of [diversity training] is not to “clear a hurdle” or “solve a problem.” On the contrary it’s too help the company reach maximum possible strategic advantage from its diversity advantage.

Tom PetersThe Pursuit of Wow!

See also: Hybrids

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