As business development and marketing professionals, we spend much of our efforts highlighting how our firms are different and, most importantly, demonstrating our firm’s value over that of competitors. In other words, “In a world full of sameness, we’re different from other firms because of our (fill in the blank—people, values, process).”
Could that difference boil down to diversity? True diversity of thought isn’t about checking the box and making sure skin tones and genders are represented. Diversity is about realizing that other experiences and insights can help foster empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand things from another’s point of view, even if you don’t have that experience. This understanding can help build trust, which, in turn, allows decisions to happen faster and collaboration to be more engaging.
Diversity can be the secret sauce to relationship development. When members of a service team bring different experiences, expertise, and viewpoints, new ideas and solutions bubble up. Numerous studies have shown that diverse firms are more profitable than less diverse firms. McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, performed business diversity studies in 2014, 2017, and 2019; each year showed greater financial improvement with diversity. The 2019 study showed increased profits of 25% for gender diversity and 36% for racial diversity in executive teams.
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Article, written by Janki DePalma, CPSM, LEED AP, first appeared in Marketer journal.