A podcast and blog to explode your business and personal creativity.

Exploding Creativity

October 8th, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Episode 5: Diversity and Creativity

Diversity can help you in your creative pursuits. Diversity can be applied to yourself to help make you more creative, and it can optimally be applied when working with other people.

We all fall into a rut from time to time that limits our creativity. Diversity is a way to break out of that and look at something from perspectives we might not have otherwise.

This episode discusses:

  • Applying diversity to yourself
    • Seek different kinds of people to interact with, different kinds of knowledge, learning, and experiences
    • Break out of your routine
    • Be an active observer
  • Applying diversity to your team
    • You can diversify by gender, age, culture
    • You can diversify by job function. This produces a Cross-Functional Team aka Business Team. Team members can include, as appropriate, a representative from marketing, sales, finance, production, engineering, technical documentation, QA, etc.
    • You can diversify by team role. Doing/Acting Roles (Implementer, Shaper, Completer/Finisher), Thinking/Problem Solving Roles (Plant, Monitor/Evaluator, Specialist), and People/Feelings Role (Coordinator, Team Worker, Resource/Investigator)
    • Can add others to your team, like customers, investors, and other stakeholders, but try to keep team smallish, maybe 6-12 people, and keep communication complexity low.
    • You can diversify by personality types. This may come anyway, but by paying attention to it, you can optimize for it. Be aware of conflict sure to arise from people of different personality types (and even the same types) and the need to manage conflict. Personality models briefly discussed:
      Social Style Matrix, PIAV (Personal Interests, Attitudes, and Values), Jung-based models and the Jung Type Indicator, DiSC.

References used in the episode:

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  • Swap Workers to Spur Innovation
    12:19 pm on November 22nd, 2008 1

    […] P&G is the world’s largest consumer products company that wants to expand its reach to younger consumers who spend more time with online media, and Google wants a bigger portion of P&G’s $8.7 billion annual advertising budget, which is currently dominated towards television. In order to help each other help each other, they’ve swapped about two-dozen employees, who spent weeks attending the other company’s training programs and planning meetings. This is an interesting variation of diversifying your team, as I discussed in Episode 5: Diversity and Creativity. […]

  • Episode 8: Mind Mapping
    1:51 pm on December 28th, 2008 2

    […] Exploding Creativity episode on Diversity. […]

  • Robert W. Sharp
    12:50 pm on February 28th, 2009 3

    Here’s a related Inc Magazine article: http://www.inc.com/articles/2009/02/the-office-is-your-company-inbred.html.

    This article discusses how companies like to hire people who are already personally known by the company’s own employees. These referrals may be the employees’ own friends and family members. In fact, a lot of companies have a referral bonus program where the employee is paid a bonus, maybe $2,000 or so, to the employee should their referral be hired.

    The upside to this practice is presumably reliable inside knowledge of the referral’s ability and fit to the company’s culture.

    The drawback is that the company may not be as diversified as it could be, and thus not get a breadth of experiences and perspectives that help innovation. Another drawback, too, is that the comany can seem insular and unwelcoming to an “outsider” coming in.

    The author, Leigh Buchanan, recommends a compromise of using employee referrals, but limiting the number of hires from any one employee’s circle.

  • Rapid Development and Code Complete Book Reviews
    10:15 am on May 27th, 2010 4

    […] my book reviews from my LinkedIn Amazon widget to my blog. I’ve referenced Rapid Development in Episode 5: Diversity and Creativity and in Episode 6: Leadership and […]

  • Hiring for Creativity | Exploding Creativity
    6:26 pm on October 25th, 2011 5

    […] industry to perhaps find someone with a different perspective (which brought to mind Episode 5: Diversity and Creativity…ah, the memories…). This part ended with the statement: Expertise can be acquired; […]


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