Capitalizing on Thought Diversity for Innovation
The multiple and often contradictory team dynamics that arise in diverse teams present organizations with major challenges. For example, while a team's functional diversity can help produce innovation, it also leads to detrimental team dynamics. This study of 28 innovation teams found that strategies to foster a team's innovation include increasing its functional diversity, reducing the team's tendency to think sequentially and increasing its tendency to engage in connective thinking. Team members should be encouraged to learn from each other and to voice divergent opinions. They should also be cautioned about relying on a single, shared mindset if they want to be better prepared to innovate and to achieve breakthrough innovation.