Diverse perspectives supporting business innovation and change

Diverse perspectives supporting business innovation and change
4 minutes read

By definition, innovation requires new ideas and new perspectives. It therefore stands to reason that a ‘mono-culture’ could stifle innovation, particularly in our rapidly changing world. So, just what does it mean to have diverse perspectives? How does this support innovation and change? Read on to find out why constant change is the new normal.


Diverse perspectives

What exactly do we mean by diverse perspectives? The easiest way to explain is to contrast with a non-diverse perspective. Take for example, a family-run business with 30 white British, all-male employees, all with long years of service and all living in the same well-to-do town. In a world of change and disruption, this organisation is poorly placed to ‘think outside the box’ and innovate its way to strong growth. Additionally, the business may be ‘outmanoeuvred’ by competitors because of a failure to innovate. But why is this so? Simply put, there are several dimensions to the similarity or ‘mono-culture’ in the above statement. Firstly, the business is family-run, indicating that the relationships are close-knit. Secondly, all of the employees are white British and all-male, limiting the perspectives available. Thirdly, all have long-service which means limited exposure to other industries, businesses or work modes. Finally, all of the employees are geographically located in proximity to one another, increasing the chances of mixing outside of work and being exposed to similar stimuli.


Creating a workplace of diverse perspectives

There are many types of diversity, some of which are described above. In truth, there are few formal regulations for businesses to have a diverse workforce. The law focuses mainly on promoting equality of opportunity when applying for jobs and equal pay. While the FCA has proposed numerical disclosures against targets for women and ethnic minorities, there is only recommendations of further voluntary disclosures for listing. Unfortunately, this misses out on a plethora of perspectives.

Some examples of diverse perspectives:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Racial and cultural
  • Religious
  • Political
  • Socio-economic status
  • Disabilities
  • Educational background
  • Professional background
  • Employment contract types
  • Lived abroad
  • Personality
  • Interests


Many businesses do not capture the information above and do not screen to enable it during candidate selection. The mindset of leaders and managers must be to seek diverse points of view to support intense innovation. This supports the transformation of recruitment practices and internal training and coaching on DEI. Let’s look at why diverse perspectives are becoming an imperative.


Constant change the new paradigm

We won’t labour the changes in the UK over the last 3 years. According to the United Nations, the five greatest challenges facing the world are human-made. Yes, really. These include climate change, urbanisation, technological innovation, inequality and demographic changes[i]. Additionally, all five of these are judged as ‘interlinked’ or connected. The UN also noted how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitisation and automation of the workplace. It has also driven inequality as those with higher incomes, ample living space and fast internet have benefitted the most. Furthermore, the post-pandemic world is slowly turning towards conflict. We already have a war between Ukraine and Russia. Many are worried that other countries will be drawn into the conflict. There is also renewed tension between the US and China regarding Taiwan.

Closer to home, there are growing social trends such as the ‘slow work movement’ and the great resignation. Many of Gen-Z are entering a very different world of work, prioritising the employee experience over all else. Additionally, much of Gen-Z places a higher importance on experiences versus consumption. This has implications for retailers, car makers, cosmetics and beyond. The pandemic has also shown how office working is replaceable. For those digital natives of Gen-Z, this represents an ideal employee experience to work flexibly and from a flexible location.

Finally, we haven’t even mentioned artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), the internet of things (IoT), robotics, the metaverse, nanomedicine, biofuels or quantum computing. Change really is the only constant.


Innovating to success through diverse perspectives

It goes without saying that if your products are aimed at the female gender, it may be wise to have female involvement. Perhaps you are expanding outside of your domestic market? There are clear benefits to leveraging cultural and local knowledge to maximise success. Maybe your workforce is highly utilised and the environment has become stressed? People who are unwilling to be employed by you in permanent roles may see opportunities for improvement. Additionally, if your products appeal to cash-strapped households, it makes little sense to have an entirely privileged management team with high socio-economic status, regardless of other forms of diversity.

And, that is a crucial point. Some people tick multiple boxes in terms of diversity while others only tick one. There are also some forms of diversity that are regularly overlooked such as low socio-economic status, immigrants and personality types. So, the moral of the story is that greater awareness of global trends and the need for change necessitates more diverse perspectives. Furthermore, those diverse ideas, views and relationships need support from the top and people who are aware of the benefits.


Another perspective to support change

Think Beyond is an award-winning management consultancy. We are proud to be different with one of our owners a female immigrant from a high socio-economic status and the other a male from a low socio-economic background. If you resonate with the perspectives in this article, we support organisations with strategic planning and change projects. So, when you are ready to create a platform for innovation, you know who to call.

Call our office on 01565 632206 or email us now on sales@think-beyond.co.uk. Alternatively, if you have a question or would like us to call you, simply pop a few details in online.

Finally, why not check out some of our pedagogical content articles on our website.


[i] https://www.un.org/en/desa/shaping-trends-shape-our-world