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The Diversity Bonus: How Great Teams Pay Off in the Knowledge Economy (Our Compelling Interests Book 2)

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How businesses and other organizations can improve their performance by tapping the power of differences in how people think What if workforce diversity is more than simply the right thing to do in order to make society more integrated and just? What if diversity can also improve the bottom line of businesses and other organizations facing complex challenges in the know How businesses and other organizations can improve their performance by tapping the power of differences in how people think What if workforce diversity is more than simply the right thing to do in order to make society more integrated and just? What if diversity can also improve the bottom line of businesses and other organizations facing complex challenges in the knowledge economy? It can. And The Diversity Bonus shows how and why.Scott Page, a leading thinker, writer, and speaker whose ideas and advice are sought after by corporations, nonprofits, universities, and governments around the world, makes a clear and compellingly pragmatic case for diversity and inclusion. He presents overwhelming evidence that teams that include different kinds of thinkers outperform homogenous groups on complex tasks, producing what he calls “diversity bonuses.” These bonuses include improved problem solving, increased innovation, and more accurate predictions—all of which lead to better performance and results.Page shows that various types of cognitive diversity—differences in how people perceive, encode, analyze, and organize the same information and experiences—are linked to better outcomes. He then describes how these cognitive differences are influenced by other kinds of diversity, including racial and gender differences—in other words, identity diversity. Identity diversity, therefore, can also produce bonuses.Drawing on research in economics, psychology, computer science, and many other fields, The Diversity Bonus also tells the stories of people and organizations that have tapped the power of diversity to solve complex problems. And the book includes a challenging response from Katherine Phillips of the Columbia Business School.The result changes the way we think about diversity in the workplace—and far beyond it.


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How businesses and other organizations can improve their performance by tapping the power of differences in how people think What if workforce diversity is more than simply the right thing to do in order to make society more integrated and just? What if diversity can also improve the bottom line of businesses and other organizations facing complex challenges in the know How businesses and other organizations can improve their performance by tapping the power of differences in how people think What if workforce diversity is more than simply the right thing to do in order to make society more integrated and just? What if diversity can also improve the bottom line of businesses and other organizations facing complex challenges in the knowledge economy? It can. And The Diversity Bonus shows how and why.Scott Page, a leading thinker, writer, and speaker whose ideas and advice are sought after by corporations, nonprofits, universities, and governments around the world, makes a clear and compellingly pragmatic case for diversity and inclusion. He presents overwhelming evidence that teams that include different kinds of thinkers outperform homogenous groups on complex tasks, producing what he calls “diversity bonuses.” These bonuses include improved problem solving, increased innovation, and more accurate predictions—all of which lead to better performance and results.Page shows that various types of cognitive diversity—differences in how people perceive, encode, analyze, and organize the same information and experiences—are linked to better outcomes. He then describes how these cognitive differences are influenced by other kinds of diversity, including racial and gender differences—in other words, identity diversity. Identity diversity, therefore, can also produce bonuses.Drawing on research in economics, psychology, computer science, and many other fields, The Diversity Bonus also tells the stories of people and organizations that have tapped the power of diversity to solve complex problems. And the book includes a challenging response from Katherine Phillips of the Columbia Business School.The result changes the way we think about diversity in the workplace—and far beyond it.

43 review for The Diversity Bonus: How Great Teams Pay Off in the Knowledge Economy (Our Compelling Interests Book 2)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jerrod

    Thesis: (cognitive) diversity leads to increased team productivity when the task is complex and the skills involved can be attained in a non-linear direction. This book is ok for what it is. If you understand the wisdom of crowds, comparative advantage, and issues of sample selection, the theory really won't add too much to your understanding of when "diversity" leads to increased productivity. It seems Page did lots of research on cognitive diversity and wanted to tie that in with identity dive Thesis: (cognitive) diversity leads to increased team productivity when the task is complex and the skills involved can be attained in a non-linear direction. This book is ok for what it is. If you understand the wisdom of crowds, comparative advantage, and issues of sample selection, the theory really won't add too much to your understanding of when "diversity" leads to increased productivity. It seems Page did lots of research on cognitive diversity and wanted to tie that in with identity diversity. I'm not sure he succeeded. I think the insights he provides are something every manager should take seriously, but your mind will not be blown. If you want to read about identity, I highly recommend Sen's Identity and Violence. My problem with The Diversity Bonus was the framing of the issue. The introduction was all about examples where identity (race, gender, etc.) diversity was salient, yet the the very beginning of the next chapter pivots to cognitive diversity (education, training, etc.). The rest of the book dances around the issue by doing some hand-waving about the correlation between identity diversity and cognitive diversity. Most of the examples cited where identity diversity is beneficial is when a team from a company adds someone who is from the same identity group as the people the company is selling to or the hospital is treating, i.e. the company adds representation for a consumer group (note: one could interpret these as benefits of homogeneity given that they are examples of someone from an identity group serving that identity group better). It is also kind of hard to take seriously the frequently stated mantra of "there is no one test" for selecting a team when members of several of the best teams in his examples (especially the Netflix prize example) were chosen because they had performed well in a task (e.g. while the winning team for the Netflix prize might have benefitted from adding insight from feature selection, regression analysis, etc., the members of the team were identified by how they had performed on the task thus far). This is an example of how cognitive diversity (while certainly a real thing) is a fuzzy concept at best and incredibly hard to implement. A tautological reading of most of the chapters is that diversity is beneficial when the task requires diversity, and the best team will have the right kind of diversity. When you start thinking this way, you might just start seeing successful teams and try finding where diversity might be a compelling story (even if something else was the cause of success). He goes through many examples (your mileage may vary). From Page's reading, identity diversity has a much more mixed record of beneficial outcomes than just plain old cognitive diversity (setting aside the issues of operationalizing that concept. The commentary (which is a nice addition to a volume likes this) is much more bullish on identity diversity's benefits and is much more realistic about the non-separability of identity and cognitive diversity (most of the commentary is extremely biased, though). As Page mentions (but the author of the commentary ignores), the replicability of experiments in social psychology is an issue, but the book really does just brush it under the rug (Page writes it off by writing something along the lines of "setting aside replication issues"). Diversity is a hard topic to write about because the concepts are so fuzzy. Is an example of a company adding in Latinos to its marketing team and increasing its sales among Latinos an example of the benefits of diversity (the Latinos increased sales for a company that had previously not had Latinos on the marketing team) or an example of the benefits of homogeneity (it was the Latinos who could sell to the Latinos)? One issue Page doesn't wade into is the anthropological literature on learning. Presumably Page would consider education a complex task (and many of the examples where he touts the potential benefits of identity diversity are when dealing with consumers (healthcare, marketing, higher ed, etc.)), but many studies suggest that children learn better from those they identify more closely with (i.e. look more similar to, talk similarly to, etc.). Given the relevance of identity to the product (i.e. basic education), diversity in the sales team (i.e. teachers) might not provide a bonus. Page provides food for thought but nothing really that satisfying.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amir Hossein Fassihi

    This book provides a rather scientific angle supported by complexity theory for seeing the benefits of diversity in teamwork. Contains many good examples.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ed Lee

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steve Chen

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rashonda

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    Gianluca Turrini

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    Tim

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    Matthew Huang

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    Maria Pia

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    Gints Dreimanis

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Barrie

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    Bill LaLonde

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    Elizabeth Burch

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    Todd

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    Zachery Tyson

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    Danilo Poccia

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    Malachi

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    Samantha

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    Claire

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    Erick Gilbert

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    Maros Fecik

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    Daniel Gusev

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    Jen Watkins

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    Keith Anderson

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    Maggie Rokkum

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    Sujit Mohan

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    caryn effron

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    Angel J. Lugo

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    Laurie Patrick

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    Douglas Steinel

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    Harriet Wright

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    Oleg

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    Elizabeth

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    Haroon Amin

  42. 4 out of 5

    Mikeholsey40

  43. 4 out of 5

    Gbenga

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