If your team is productive, you probably aren’t second guessing it. Everyone is doing what they’re supposed to do, deadlines are being met, and all seems peaceful and quiet. Though this might feel ideal on the surface, it could be a sign that your team isn’t diverse enough. Teams win, but diverse teams win bigger. If your team seems to be going through the motions, it might be time to inject some new talent into the situation in order to shake things up.
Do Everyone’s Backgrounds Match?
You probably knew what kind of educational background and work experience you were looking for when you hired your team members. Did you look with too narrow of a scope? If everyone has the same kind of education and similar work experience, they probably all learned to do things the same way. While this may unify the team, it only allows a single perspective. The perfect team won’t act as a hive mind, but as a bunch of complementary components.
How Long Has it Been Since You’ve Innovated?
Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with a “business as usual” approach. Stagnating isn’t always harmful, but it certainly isn’t helpful. If no wild new ideas have emerged, whether or not you’ve used them to innovate the way you do business, this means the creative well has run dry. When your team members are all very similar, they aren’t challenging each other. No one is coming up with new approaches to old problems or boldly constructing a vision from their own professional creativity. A diverse team creates the right environment for these kinds of brainstorming sessions.
Does Everyone Get Along Perfectly?
It almost seems absurd to be suspicious of people getting along. What leader wants their group to quarrel? The reality of the matter is that nothing ever changes or grows without a few healthy disagreements. You don’t want your team to constantly be yelling at each other, but you do want them to be able to respectfully oppose each other.
When opposing viewpoints are delivered, everyone has something to think about. A lot of the time, progress and real accomplishments are made of people examining the way they approach an issue. If your team members are passive with each other, you won’t get these conversations that will lead to your business being enriched and expanding its reach.
Can Everyone Fill Any Role?
This is exactly what you don’t want. When you hire a group of cashiers, you want those people to be able to work at any cash register. When you hire a team of professionals to complete a project, you want them all to bring something different to the table. Your team needs a variety of strengths. You want team members who are great at one thing, but not so great at another. It’s a matter of balancing those strengths and weaknesses that will help your team combine as a powerful whole.
Great teams need a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker. Someone who is generally handy won’t be able to apply their skills nearly as well as someone with a focused area of interest. You don’t want anyone in your team to be interchangeable. Every member of the team should invaluable alone, as well as part of the collective.
The most important thing to remember is that diversity makes everything better. It removes limitations and brings forward possibilities you may not have even seen on the horizon. If you’re wondering whether or not your team should be more diverse, it probably should.