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Monday, July 14, 2008

Diversity of Thought, Hire the Entrepreneurs!

So often one reads about "diversity," more as a regulatory or compliance exercise, than what it truly is, finding people with a diversity of thought and opinion. Regularly, businesses hire people who are similar to the existing organization. Sure, that makes for great "fit," but what value does that bring to the organization?

In an article on, titled "Wanted: risk-takers for the next decade," the author acknowledges the need for entrepreneurial thinkers in UK businesses. The key words are, "highly skilled, creative, ambitious and enterprising staff, in other words people who can spot opportunities and have new ideas." In other words, focused and driven people who bring different points of view to problems.

The article also points out that this is a cultural weakness in the UK, in particular. This remark highlights the variability and diversity of the business culture of different countries. Many have long recognized that different markets value talent differently. In particular, the entrepreneurial spirit is part of the national character. However, in other countries, a more communal spirit is valued.

For the UK to change and meet the need to bring in more diversity in thought, Alessandra Buonfino, head of research at Demos states: "Much will need changing: from what's in our textbooks to how society incentivises risk-taking ,..."

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