ABSTRACT

Diversity in team mix has emerged as an important contributor to improve the quality and efficacy of innovation in business, with mix of skills, job function, ethnicity and gender all playing a part, and this chapter explores how to develop the broad mix of skillsets, backgrounds and viewpoints necessary for your business to become more innovative. Recognition of the value of employee diversity has resulted in several well-known companies changing their recruitment policies, most notably Google and Boston Consulting Group. The differing attitudes and business practices of Western versus Asian business leaders are discussed with respect to innovation. This is explored further in an interview with Dennis Akkerman, a Dutch digital technology consultant based in Malaysia. A final interview with Prof Graham Jones, Director of Innovation at Novartis’ Technical Research and Development Division, showcases his detailed study of the effect of diversity in team working and offers several practical methods to optimising performance using team working science.