Lack of diversity paralyzed the CIA. It can cripple your organization, too

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The most recent Forbes piece is about the coming demise of Microsoft. Read it here.

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One response to “Lack of diversity paralyzed the CIA. It can cripple your organization, too

  1. This was a brilliant article and I hope that people take note of it. I tweeted it the moment I read it – and it shows how important European strategists are becoming. Adding the importance of diversity and a failure to allow maverick thinking should become listed as one of the reasons for failing to anticipate surprises in the text books – alongside the other 3 you listed.

    Europe has the cultural diversity that the US lacks – although there is still a long way for Europe to go. (I’m thinking of senior management in many European multinationals – generally there is a mix of managers from several different countries, and not just one).

    An interesting company that I’ve looked at in the past that is a case example of the importance of diversity is ICICI Bank in India. People think of India as a patriarchal society. ICICI Bank is probably the most successful private sector bank in India and a major player in the Indian banking market and also globally. They are led by a woman CEO and have always had a couple of women on their board. (See http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-22/top-women-in-india-banking-proving-icici-s-factory-for-ceos-gender-neutral.html for a discussion on this). Compare this to most other countries where the chance of a woman being CEO of a top bank would be very small. (Beth E. Mooney was the first woman to become CEO of a top 20 US independent bank (KeyCorp) in 2006 – years after India’s ICICI).

    I wonder also whether Apple’s success has been partly because they encouraged maverick thinkers. Guy Kawasaki is one example – now not with Apple. However Steve Jobs was the obvious example – and Jonathan Ive is another, as a top UK manager in a US company. Google’s leaders are originally Russian, and they illustrate their off-the-wall thinking each year with their April Fool (Le Poisson d’Avril) jokes.

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