Finding different ways of thinking and working

Different ways of thinking and working

Different ways of thinking and working


of CEOs whose organisations have a diversity and inclusiveness strategy say it's enhanced performance

CEO interview quotes

“What we've done with diversity and inclusion is integrate it into our leadership training, into our talent programmes, into our succession planning. So diversity and inclusion is an integrated component of everything we do around leadership and talent.”
“Talent diversity and to be able to attract people with multiple talents is an absolute key in the whole digital economy, and is also probably our largest single headache.”
“We take our executive team... out into our workplaces every second executive meeting so that we’re dealing with our customers and our staff where they operate. That allows us again to grab some of that diversity of thinking – otherwise you do tend to get trapped in your own little world, particularly as a senior executive.”
“For us it’s no longer a question, this diversity. It’s our everyday life.”
“We want people in the company that have differing ideas, differing experiences, differing opinions, because we need to solve our customers’ problems… Diversity and inclusion will make us that much more competitive in the marketplace.”
“We need to have ever more people, from the most diverse backgrounds, as we do not know what area will produce the innovation that will make a difference for us. It can be products, it can be services, it can be forms of communicating with or understanding the customer.”
“Design thinking teaches us that great products and solutions come when there is a synthesis of lots of different kinds of perspectives, and when we are diverse we create the opportunity for that rich synthesis of great perspectives. The more diverse we are, the better we will all be.”
“I think a company will have to embrace various types of people with diversified values in order to be competitive and to survive. After all, only companies with the ability to adapt will prosper. It is the key point for survival.”
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Key findings

Talent diversity and inclusiveness are no longer seen as ‘soft’ issues, but rather as crucial competitive capabilities. Of the CEOs whose companies have a formal diversity and inclusiveness strategy, 85% think it’s improved the bottom line. And they also see such strategies as benefiting innovation, collaboration, customer satisfaction, emerging customer needs and the ability to benefit technology.

CEOs are looking for the right mix of talent. Having people who can think and work in highly different ways is crucial in a competitive environment where companies need to apply their capabilities in more innovative ways, partner successfully and harness technology effectively. 81% of CEOs say their organisations are now looking for a much broader range of skills than in the past. And to find the skills they need, companies are searching in many more places - 78% of CEOs say their business always uses multiple channels to recruit, while 71% say they actively search for talent in different geographies, industries and demographic segments. Nurturing adaptable talent is also important: 81% of CEOs say that their business always looks to equip employees with new skills.

There’s still a great deal of work to be done. Companies are going to require people who are different across dimensions like gender, age and race, as well as those who are in different situations in life, those with different experiences and perspectives. Three in ten CEOs say their organisations don’t have a strategy to promote diversity and inclusiveness, though 13% say there are plans to adopt one. Yet formal strategies can help to broaden the mix of talent; CEOs who do have such strategies in place are more likely than those who don’t to hire in different markets, industries and demographic segments, use different recruitment channels, search for a wider range of skills, and equip employees with new skills.

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