Cognitive Diversity – a powerful tool for strategy

Your organization probably has a DEI (diversity, equity & inclusion) plan, but we’re betting it doesn’t include cognitive diversity – a powerful tool for strategy in teams and organizations. Cognitive diversity describes the range of ways in which people mentally approach work to be done. Having a cognitively diverse team matters, as described in this Harvard Business Review article.

Several years ago, the Strategic Doing team at Purdue met the Human Insight team, based in The Hague. Human Insight has a number of tools for individuals and organizations, but the one that started it all is the AEM-Cube(tm). The AEM-Cube helps people understand their own mental approach, and as a team, can describe the interplay among the team members’. It’s based on the S-Curve, which if you’ve been at a training you are very familiar with.

The S-Curve in a diversity context aligns exceptionally well with the way in which we talk about S-Curves as a pattern for economies or organizations. When we first encountered Human Insight’s work, they helped us realize that the 10 Rules can be explored through the S-Curve as well. It also provides an important lens through which to look at potential core team members.

In our next Third Thursday on May 20, Sebastian Hamers from Human Insight will join us, as well as Tabitha Scott of Powering Potential. Sebastian will provide some of the what and how around cognitive diversity. Tabitha is an enthusiastic adherent and can talk knowledgeably about the why, having used it as a lever for change in a number of organizations. (You’ll also learn what chairs have to do with all of this!)

The Third Thursday events are open to anyone – invite a colleague to attend with you. The program includes a short presentation, a robust Q&A session, and (very) short announcements about upcoming trainings or new resources here on the website. Registration is required. Join us, and learn about cognitive diversity as a powerful tool for strategy.

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Liz Nilsen