Excerpt from the article:
What is diversity of thought?
Diversity of thought goes beyond traditional elements of diversity – such as race and gender – and looks at differences in perspectives and approaches. Employees vary in their thought patterns based on differences in backgrounds, experience, education, responsibilities and more.
When employees express their unique perspectives, it encourages more critical thinking and discussion. Diversity of though can result in better decisions.
Criticality and Decision Making of Teams
Diversity of thought can also apply to the alignment between leaders and teams in their risk tolerance related to action plans. The expectation is that teams will actually perform better if there is some disagreement during the planning and goal setting phases.
As the world has gotten more complicated, more and more work is being accomplished through teams. Large organizations generally have teams within functions, locations, geographies and business units that may or may not be well aligned with priorities and goals.
In a 2018 paper published in Academy of Management Journal titled “The Benefits of Not Seeing Eye to Eye with Leadership: Divergence in Risk Preferences Impacts Multiteam System Behavior and Performance”, Klodiana Lanaj, Trevor Foulk and John Hollenbeck explored how similarities and differences in comfort with taking risks can affect the performance of teams in a multi-team system.