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This Black History Month, let’s take a moment to remember why diversity matters.

First, the obvious. It’s morally right to give Black people recognition for their long-overlooked accomplishments and contributions to society. For too long, the achievements of Black Americans have had to take a figurative as well as literal back seat. We join all of you in celebrating how far we’ve come. It’s right and good to give long suppressed minorities a fair chance in the workplace.

Let’s go a step deeper, though, and talk about the business benefits of diversity. It’s now an undisputable fact that diverse executive leadership teams are up to 33% more profitable.

Research study after research study shows this startling fact. Yet it should come as no surprise. When you bring together decision-makers from different backgrounds and divergent viewpoints, the result is usually a more innovative idea. Rather than a room full of toadies parroting the company line, look at the issue from a different angle. And innovation is what makes companies outperform their competition.

Instead of expecting everyone to surrender their “otherness” when they sit down around the conference table, gather for a Zoom call, or go on a board retreat, ask them to bring their differences with them. It’s a valuable spark to stimulate new ideas.

Sometimes, that difference can be the grit that creates the pearl in the oyster.

When it’s time to think about adding to your executive team or expanding your board, think about this:

  • Are we looking beyond our inner circle, or continuing to go to the usual places?
  • How important is innovation to our company’s future success?
  • Are we going to walk the talk of our Black History Month proclamations?

How you and your organization approach recruitment can have a profound effect on the success of the enterprise, this month and every month.

So while your organization is making public statements about celebrating Black History, take a moment and look to your future.

And ask yourself, “are we doing enough?”

Until we meet again.
Desmund Adams
CEO, Focus & Find

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