There are a number of ways you can define diversity, but it is primarily defined as the inclusion of different types of things or people. It also means allowing many ideas and opinions to form freely about something. Diversity to me is embracing difference in all types of ways not just skin color.
In our working environment, having diverse mindsets prevents a group-think mentality. There’s no point having a workplace of different cultures, race, and age if everyone thinks the same.
You need people with different personalities, experiences, and mindsets in order to be able to innovate, problem-solve and ultimately, succeed.
Howard Gardner, Havard’s Professor of Cognition and Education, put together the Five Minds for the Future in order to outline the cognitive abilities that will be encompassed by leaders in the years ahead. When reading his work I could not help think that this directly applies to how we might define the diversity of minds at work, and the types of thinkers you need to build a successful organization.
1. The disciplined mind
This is the master of discipline. He or she might be a master of history, math, science, law, medicine, management and the list goes on. A genius accountant, lawyer, engineer or graphic designer. Someone who excels so much so in a certain skill that they have reached the pinnacle of it.
The disciplined mind draws direct correlations with specialized talent, and how important these types of individuals can be for your organization. A real dedication to a single craft, in which they apply themselves to this discipline every day to continuously improve and develop their craft.
2. The synthesizing mind
One of the most important minds you need at work. The synthesizer, a mind suited to adapting and improving. Someone with an evaluative mind, who is able to take information and process it in a way that makes sense for everyone.
This type of person is integral at work, someone who must decide what merits your business’s attention, and what to ignore. Steering the ship in many ways.
A mind most suited, but not limited, to a manager or anyone leading your business development.
3. The creating mind
The holy grail of the workplace. The creating mind breaks new ground for your business. They put forth new innovative ideas and offer new ways of thinking that drive the creative output of your business.
It would be an understatement to say this is a valuable asset to your business. If you hired a workplace full of disciplined minds, you won’t develop and adapt as a business. You’ll find yourself stuck in your old ways for eternity.
Creating minds have the ability to change the world, and you need someone with this mind at work.
4. The respectful mind
Your social star. The respectful mind has an in-grained sociability learned from their parents, friends and their school system. Someone who might have been exposed to various cultures at an early age.
This person is the glue that holds the workplace together and allows everyone to work effectively with each other internally and externally.
For example, you might use respectful minds to meet with clients and increase your reach worldwide, as you know this person has the mindset and understanding to effectively interact and communicate with all kinds of people.
5. The ethical mind
The unselfish one. Different to the respectful mind, the ethical mind is ‘the impartial spectator of the team’.
The ethical one always has the community in mind. Most people wouldn’t say a thing if they saw a manager doing something wrong or unjust because they would be concerned with the security of their job right?
But this type of person makes sure that the manager pays for the consequences. He or she acts ethically regardless of their relationship with a person. You need this person to keep your business at a healthy, balanced and fair state.
It’s important to note that these mindsets can stem into any kind of role. You might find an accountant who has a creating mind or community manager who has an ethical mind. Type of mindset does not only apply to the type of role. The same way diversity does not only apply to skin colors.
How we develop mentally has a lot to do with the experiences and cultures we were raised in. If you look for people with different mindsets, you will naturally find candidates of different cultures, and vice versa.