The third Culture x Design was held in Melbourne on July 20, 2016 and featured a keynote from several experts including Juliet Bourke. She leads the Australian Diversity & Inclusion practice at Deloitte. Her latest book, Which Two Heads are Better than One? explores inclusion and the key traits of inclusive leaders. Juliet specializes in cultural change, with particular expertise in diversity and inclusion.
1. Diverse groups make better decisions.
Taking the time to bring together a diverse group to make decision sometimes doesn’t seem practical. We’re all in a rush and trying to get things done as quickly as possible. However, decisions made by diverse groups are more likely to stick. Because diverse opinions have been taken into consideration, the outcome is more robust. There’s also more buy-in from more people – because they’ve seen someone who represents them included in discussions.
2. There are six mindsets and behaviors exhibited by inclusive leaders
Bourke has observed that inclusive leaders exhibit commitment, courage, cognizance, curiosity, cultural intelligence and collaboration. They need to have a commitment to inclusion to be able to push for it. Their courage will push the status quo, and call out inclusion as a focus. When leaders have the courage to be vulnerable and say, “I'm not as good as I can be” it allows other people to say, “You know what, I could be better too.”
3. Vulnerability begets vulnerability
The best way to encourage vulnerability in employees is to model the behavior, to the extent that you’re comfortable. You can also encourage vulnerability by reacting appropriately when others are vulnerable.
Bourke shares more about the learnings from Which Two Heads are Better than One? in her Ted Talk. The focus is on diversity of thinking and the six ways people approach problem solving. To get diversity of thought, know what your problem-solving strengths are and find people who have different strengths than you. Overall, it's about discipline, not luck when it comes to achieving diversity of thought.