Innovation Must Be Synonymous With Inclusion in the Workplace

Equality, a bias-free space, fairness, etc are a few of the many cases in favour of inclusion in the workplace. But, how about innovation? Inclusion and innovation are strongly connected to each other and hence, the former can greatly improve the innovation performance of an organization. A 2019 report by Josh Bersin revealed that companies were ‘1.8 times more likely to be change-ready and 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market.’ Moreover, companies were also ‘3.8 times more likely to be able to coach people for improved performance, 3.6 times more able to deal with personnel performance problems, and 2.9 times more likely to identify and build leaders.’

Innovation does bring people together and it’s something that everyone can contribute towards

“Diversity drives innovation, not the other way around. Differing perspectives lead to differing ideas, and robust debate and discussion leads to more innovation and important breakthroughs,” said U.S. Chamber President Suzanne Clark at the Global Innovation Policy Center’s Equality of Opportunity in the Innovation Economy event in October 2020. Innovation does bring people together and it’s something that everyone can contribute towards and hence we need to create an equitable future for this. Companies need to ensure that people are represented at work, whether they are women, differently-abled, or from the LGBTQi community for a better future that the next generation will inherit. So, with regards to hiring or diversifying supply chains and even supporting minority-owned businesses, promoting actionable inclusion should be on every organization and executive leader’s list.

Different minds and opinions will of course lead to increased discourse and disagreements, however, therein lies the key to greatness

Furthermore, inclusive companies also take more risks and question the status quo. According to Talent Innovation, 75% of employees who work at such companies are more likely to see their innovations reaching the products pipeline and the actual market. This means, inclusion not only drives innovation but also increased revenue. However, let’s always remember that an inclusive environment is not a “walk in the park.” A group of different minds and opinions will of course lead to increased discourse and disagreements, however, therein lies the key to greatness. Digitalist Magazine reveals, ‘Thanks to innovation methodologies such as design thinking, growing these skills is no longer a challenge. It changes the way teams work together to let innovation flourish and create meaningful collaboration. Innovation doesn’t thrive where people agree, rather in the places where we find healthy dialogues, where everyone builds on top of each other’s ideas and thoughts to create an innovative and inclusive environment.’ We can’t agree more!

Image credit: Medium

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