Diversity that Solves Problems


Diversity that Solves Problems


 

Teams of individuals with diverse perspectives and relevant cognitive tools can outperform and out-innovate homogenous groups in difficult problem-solving tasks.

 

 

Scott Page's extensive research and analysis on the impact of cognitive diversity on group problem solving and prediction discussed in his book, The Difference, demonstrates how diverse groups of individuals with diverse perspectives and relevant cognitive tools can outperform and out-innovate homogenous groups on difficult problem-solving tasks, even when a homogenous group consists of people with higher levels of individual ability.

He found the initial performance of diverse groups is sometimes worse than that of homogenous groups, but performance improves over time as people interact within a diverse group. He also highlights the ways in which identity diversity may correlate with cognitive diversity.

He notes, however, the link between diversity and positive group performance is not automatic. He found diversity has a positive impact on group problem solving under certain conditions, including when there's a difficult problem to solve and group members bring diversity that is helpful for solving the problem at hand.

Based on his research, Page methodically sets forth a proven logic to diversity that has the power to improve group performance in problem-solving and prediction tasks.

 

 

Reference:

Page, Scott, The Difference: How The Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies, Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford, 2007.