Wrapping Up Part I: Fostering Situations & Environments Where Cognitive Diversity Thrives
The same principle that allows a group of people to become smarter together—the idea that multiple perspectives and heuristics combine to make us better—applies in our own individual work. When we are working on solving a problem or trying to do something creative, we get smarter as individuals when we seek out different perspectives. We can think of everything we research and everyone we ask for input as part of our “team.”
As such, the following diagram sums up the need for cognitive diversity in both teamwork and solo work well:
Remember: two heads are only better than one if they’re different. This gives us a practical reason to include different people in our work and not just work with people who are just like us.
You can’t make cake out of 8 kinds of flour.
But you also can’t make cake if you don’t mix your different ingredients. This is what Section 2 of this course is all about.
And you still don’t have cake unless you add heat and create a chemical transformation. This is what Section 3 of this course is about.
Creating an environment where cognitive diversity can thrive ultimately boils down to repeatedly seizing micro-opportunities to include people and reinforce that you need and want differences.
This includes recognizing and rewarding people for pushing the party forward, not for conformity or even being right about things.
In the next section, we’ll discuss how to make the clash of perspective and heuristic productive and less psychologically painful.
After that, we’ll dig into developing skills and creating cultures that help Dream Teams thrive.
But before all that, there’s a little quiz to see how you’re thinking about cognitive diversity now that you’ve gone through this section.