If companies want to reap the benefits of diversity in its truest form, it’s time to consider diversifying it.
I know I’m not the typical picture of diversity. However, growing up in communist Poland offered me a unique approach to problems and solutions that most businesspeople I meet today never consider. Diversity of thought — combining our differences to cover as many diverse perspectives as possible in our decision-making — is where companies find the most benefits.
While diversity and inclusion of traditionally marginalized groups are important, being truly diverse takes more thought than people realize. To truly experience greater diversity, we need to eliminate bias, go beyond what diversity looks like and choose the people that bring something new to the table.
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Most organizations have a board of directors to provide governance, but an advisory board is optional and members have less liability, so they can more readily offer advice. These boards serve different purposes, but both can also propel a company to success. A well-curated board of experienced members can fill in all of the areas where your company needs expertise. When properly chosen, a board can drive more growth.
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As of 2019, 13.7% of the United States’ population was foreign-born—but as researcher Peter Vandor noted in Harvard Business Review, immigrants make up approximately 25% of startup founders. Just as emigrating and starting life in a strange country involves taking big risks, so does starting a company—and many immigrants see both paths as equally viable, Vandor found, because of an innate higher tolerance for risk.