I read something quite interesting in Forbes Magazine that will help you grow the value of your business.
Back in 2018 Forbes published the results of a study that showed that companies with “diverse” leadership were more innovative and grew faster!
They looked at 1700 different companies across 8 different countries, with varying industries and company sizes. They found that increasing diversity has a direct effect on the bottom line.
This makes perfect sense as you reflect on how “diversification” is actually a big part of our lives.
- When you invest in the stock market, you diversify your portfolio to make it stronger.
- As a company you diversify so you are not dependent on just one client or service.
- Bio-diversity is a common trait in nature, environments are stronger when they have more diversity.
- Even as humans we enjoy diversity. Eating different foods so we don’t get bored. Watching different shows. Reading different kinds of books. Doing different activities.
So how come it’s so hard to implement within a business?
It’s difficult to hire people that don’t think like you, or don’t look like you, or don’t act like you.
It’s difficult because we are more comfortable when we hang out with people “just like us.” That’s why we join religious organizations and clubs full of people who enjoy what we enjoy.
But to grow your business you must fight this tendency and fill your company and leadership team with people who will challenge the status quo.
Who’s your #2?
When I advise landscape business owners on picking a COO, general manager, or second in command, I help them identify where they are weak, and where their #2 should be strong. This often means that the COO’s personality will be different from the owner’s.
Who’s on your leadership team?
Recently, I was conversing with Jim McCutcheon, CEO of HighGrove Partners in Atlanta for my podcast. We discussed his leadership team make-up and the value of opposites.
Jim is super outgoing, and everyone is his friend. He realized the need for bringing an opposite onto his leadership team. Not everyone can (or should) be your friend.
There is a reason he explained that he has reached such profound success. He relies on other people to sell, to manage, and importantly, he must now also rely on people who are younger and different from him to help him lead his business.
What does diversity look like in a business?
Everyone wants an innovative company that does well even in downturns and can outsmart the competition.
This becomes easier when you purposefully diversify your team.
As Forbes wrote “diversity means diversity of minds, ideas, and approaches — which allows teams to find a solution that takes into account multiple angles the problem, thus making the solution stronger, well-rounded and optimized. Therefore, diversity is key for a company’s bottom line.”
Different is good because it challenges you to think differently.
Keep your company growing strong, by hiring people who look, think, and act differently from you.
You have a two-fold challenge to implementing this:
1. It’s hard to bring on people that think differently than you. Push yourself to interview people who are not normally your first choice, and remain curious to their strengths and perspectives, and look at how they can make your company stronger.
2. It’s hard to listen to people who don’t agree with you. It’s one thing to hire them, it’s another thing to commit to listening to opinions that don’t agree with yours.
How diverse is your team and how strong is your leadership?