How many of us have heard the saying, “teamwork makes the dream work?” Though overused, this saying holds true because teamwork is the art of thinking independently together.
A team’s success and competitiveness depends upon its ability to adapt to new environments and embrace its diverse surroundings. By emphasizing a diverse work space, a team is able to enhance what I’d like to call the 4 C’s: communication, creativity, change, and culture.
Communication is a vital role in team work. As I have learned during my position as the TEDxUCIrvine Director of Social Media, a team that is able to openly voice its thoughts produce a more efficient, organized, and cohesive environment. For example, TEDx weekly one-on-ones allow the team to be more goal-oriented, which results in higher efficiency and progress in projects. A diverse workforce builds synergy in teams and enriches communication skills that introduce new perspectives that would benefit the whole team. A team with members ranging from various backgrounds allow people to be more transparent, leading to a more open communication with members in the team.
Collaborating in a diverse workforce increases creativity and the ability to tackle problems. With so many different minds working together, more solutions and ideas are generated as each team member contributes their unique way of thinking. This was especially evident during my experience participating in the 2015 National Sales Network Student Conference, where a team of 7 strangers worked together to strategize and pitch a marketing plan for a Fortune 500 company. Throughout our time brainstorming, new ideas came rapidly due the diverse social and educational backgrounds we all came from. With the range of ideas we had, we were able accommodate to a diverse customer base, leading us to win the mock business pitch competition.
With every experience I pursue, I like to embrace change and be bold. Trends, businesses, and cultures are constantly changing which excites me and motivates me to take risks and push myself out of my comfort zone. A huge component to innovating change stems from a diverse team environment. By working with a group of individuals who contribute different perspectives, new ideas are more likely to spark therefore igniting improvements and innovations towards the project.
Last and certainly not least: company culture. A diverse and inclusive work space not only exposes employees from different backgrounds, but also enables employees to develop from co-workers whose work styles and attitudes are different from their own. Interning at the Billabong HQ was one of my most stimulating experiences due to the innovative corporate culture it offered. I was able to personally see each team’s unique personality when I took the initiative to schedule weekly coffee meetups with different project managers. During my time chatting with them, I learned that many of the office social activities originated from the hobbies and passions that were important to employees, such as yoga classes, surf lessons, and bring-your-dog-to-work days.
In short, I really value working in spaces that encourage individuals to think outside their perspectives because it enhances communication, creativity, change, and culture. Diversity within a company encourages not only internal growth but also fosters the ability to innovate in multiple industries as it caters towards a wider range of audience. As our economy becomes increasingly global, the workforce becomes increasingly diverse. Therefore, success and competitiveness will depend on the ability to manage diversity in the workplace effectively.