Diversity gets a lot of air time. Gender diversity, national origin and race diversity. Diversity is great. It has been demonstrated that organizations with more diverse workforces are more productive, innovative, and adaptive. As an added benefit, more diverse executive staffs are less likely to get into trouble by overlooking risks and PR issues.
But there is another type of diversity that we should be, not only talking about, but fostering it.
First, there is age diversity. Experienced workers not only have more business dealings under their belt, but they have probably tried a number of things with or without success, and they can be a true “adult in the room” and help your team stay away from unproductive paths. I am not advocating to “not try new things”, what I am saying here is that more experienced workers can recognize when something is not a new idea in reality, but it is just plainly an old bad idea that has been tried and failed for all the right reasons.
Second, there is location diversity, which is hardly ever mentioned. Hopefully with everybody on Zoom all day this has improved somewhat, but in 2019, it was surprisingly high the number of companies who came up with all kinds of different unsubstantiated reasons on why candidates they were hiring should be at headquarters and in the office every day. Besides the now true and tried rise in productivity achieved by the flexibility of remote working, having workers spread across a region gives you a “lasting diversity” advantage. Diversity of background is one that gets cited frequently, but when an individual moves to a new city, they slowly get assimilated into the local culture and the effect wanes. Having the same person stay where they are, or even allowing them to spend extended periods of time away, keeps them anchored in that subculture with a frame of view that’s renovated every day.
Here’s for diversity of diversity!
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