Diversity in a team can create an explosion of ideas and plans. Every person has their own unique personality, background and experiences. Individuals pull from their experiences and background to help formulate thoughts and ideas. Personality, background and experiences can determine how we react as individuals, among peers and among adversaries in a variety of situations.
Personality, background and experience can greatly affect team members willingness to provide input. Some individuals are shy or reserved and may not want to draw attention to themselves. Others are very social and confident and may try to dominate the conversation. Background can also influence participation. Some cultures are more reserve than others. Some families are more animated than others. Each persons’ experiences can affect the depth to which they are able to and comfortable with contributing. Care must be taken to recognize the differences and ensure everyone’s thoughts and ideas are captured.
An effective team must have a way to collect every team members thoughts and ideas. This can be done by having everyone call out ideas as they come up with them, by going around the group and asking for each persons’ input, or calling upon the known subject “experts” to contribute. These thoughts are recorded for later review and prioritization.
Diversity brings about a variety of ideas, but is also influences how a team comes together. A mass of random thoughts can be chaotic and overwhelming. When it’s time to harness these thoughts and ideas, an organized plan will reveal itself.
Steps to an Organized Plan:
- Look for common ideas and thoughts, grouping them together
- Groupings of ideas are reviewed, merged, edited and prioritized for alignment and meeting the objective of the team
- Ideas are turned into a plan to meet the team objective and create the organized plan
Through the steps; again, care must be taken to ensure everyone has been provided the opportunity for input.
Embracing diversity allows the team to benefit from the wealth of viewpoints and experiences of its team members. The free flow of ideas can energize the team. There’s an excitement and sizzle when team members build from each other’s differences when creating ideas and plans. These ideas are then harnessed into a plan to meet the team’s objective. The team’s plan will provide a well-rounded solution that will have the advantage of considering a multitude of angles and viewpoints.