Building a strong Team: Why you need both DEI and Cognitive Diversity

With the bottom line as no exception, prioritizing DEI benefits all aspects of the organization.  

A BCG study found that businesses with more diverse management teams earned 19% more revenue. Another study by McKinsey reported that teams with gender and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely than those without such diversity to outperform the median company in their industries.

If you are serious about creating strong DEI initiatives in your company, Susanne Drumm, CEO of Meritage Leadership, pointed out, in a Fortune commentary, one lesser-known piece of the conversation that you must include: Cognitive Diversity.   

What is Cognitive Diversity?   

Everything might go smoother if everyone agrees. Meetings where one person talks while everyone nods. This might be effective but it’s not good for your company (or your clients) to be staffed exclusively by people who share the same worldview, the same personality, or the same approach to business.   

Every company would benefit from hiring with Cognitive Diversity in mind — even if it creates conflict. Why? Because the conflict that arises from cognitive diversity is good. It’s a conflict that results in better products, happier clients, more effective systems, and fewer missteps. Ultimately, teams with cognitive diversity offer more innovation, ideas, and room for collaboration. A Deloitte study also found that cognitive diversity can measurably enhance team innovation.  

In addition to personality types and mindsets, cognitive diversity also relates to people’s backgrounds. Hiring employees who come from all walks of life will give you a broader perspective on your customers and what solutions you can offer than, say, hiring only employees who grew up in the same town or went to a similar college as you did.   

And yet, if we’re not careful, we are likely to do the latter. We are all potential victims of biases; many leaders tend to hire people who look like themselves and this might result in a company made up of only like-minded employees.   

Cognitive Diversity and DEI   

Cognitive Diversity and DEI complement each other well because they represent the value of our unique experiences and how individuality can be beneficial in the workplace.  When merged, DEI and Cognitive Diversity create a company culture built on inclusivity from all angles: race, ethnicity, gender, education, and mindset to mention a few.  

Being cognitively diverse also means intentionally including and seeing the value in employees of all ages and treating diverse viewpoints with respect.    

Denominator represent more than 10 different nationalities with people from South America, North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Our backgrounds are very different, as we are from different generations and grew up, have lived, and are today based in various parts of the world. We have different family constructions, educations, work experiences, political and religious beliefs. As we view the world from different perspectives, our way of thinking is not always alike and we don’t always agree. This can sometimes be challenging but in the end, it empowers our team and strengthen Denominator’s innovation; resulting in even better products for our clients. 

We are all different, but all the same. 

If you want to learn more about Denominator or meet some of our people, please follow this link.