Diversity in terms of gender, age etc. is not everything. In order for projects to be successful so that teams perform best, different personality types and soft skills have to come together.
It’s one of the great mysteries facing mankind today: why do some companies succeed while others fail? Well, successful companies have better products, better access to the market and more resources, and can also apply this power more effectively. Above all, though, successful companies are faster and more innovative – and are far more customer-oriented and better attuned to market requirements than their competitors.
This is the decisive factor when it comes to competition. It’s crucial that organisations grasp quickly how their markets and (potential) customers work and what makes them tick, as only then can they anticipate needs and be truly innovative. Markets and customers are becoming increasingly heterogeneous and international: as ever, this is down to globalisation. Digitalisation is changing the way we all act – and, consequently, how our customers and the societies we live in act as well.
Societies are also growing apart, with divisions based on generation, lifestyle and values. There’s also an infinite range of subcultures, ways of life and orientations. For companies to continue operating successfully in this pluralistic world, their structures need to represent this diversity and different views of the world in order to benefit from them. And, of course, this diversity should also be reflected in their teams and projects.
After all, it’s only by bringing together differing perspectives that project teams can gain a truly comprehensive, authentic understanding of their markets’ needs and requirements, and only with the most holistic possible view of their customers – diverse in the best sense of the word – that a company can truly become customer-oriented. Man/woman, young/old, digital native/digital immigrant: when everyone contributes their knowledge, research can get much closer to the truth.
This might sound obvious, but it isn’t: there’s more to diversity than just gender, age and other such aspects. For projects to be successful, and for teams to perform to the best of their abilities, they need to bring together different personality types and a variety of soft skills. It’s no good to have a team entirely made up of people who charge forward enthusiastically if they’re not combined with (and tempered by) quiet analysts and talented micro-managers with an eye for more detailed aspects of coordinating a team. Studies, such as one conducted by Dropbox, have also reinforced this notion: they clearly demonstrate that teams which enjoy above-average success are those in which one or two members act as so-called “culture makers”. Wittingly or unwittingly, these team members influence the spirit of cooperation and, in doing so, help the team to develop its method of collaboration.
While this is not a new discovery, until now companies have failed to apply either this knowledge of the success factors in teams and projects or the importance of diversity in a structured manner. People.OS makes this possible with the help of the Marketplace. Here, sponsors present ideas for new products and services and seek to enlist colleagues with the necessary skills to help. At the same time, all employees can put forward their own market-related ideas and actively look to win sponsors in order to develop prototypes and make the product ready for the market. They could do this by looking for colleagues with the desired skills or, if they already know them, reach out to them directly to ask for their support on the project.
Data analysis helps to ensure the “best fit” in each case. People.OS collates data that employees enter about their education, the knowledge they’ve accumulated on-the-job, the advanced training they’ve completed and the contributions they’ve made to the company’s success, along with their personal development goals. By combining this data with information on strategic initiatives and projects, the system generates a best fit. That is to say, it suggests employees with the right skills, abilities and degree of diversity, and who are best suited to the tasks in question – always achieving an effective mixture in doing so. This ensures that employees are brought together in functional combinations for the maximum possible success of strategic corporate projects. Diversity is therefore effortlessly ensured.
The Diversity Solution Package is still to be developed, but we believe it will provide a solution that is badly needed. As we’re hoping to develop it in our tried and tested manner with our Co-Creation Partners, we’re currently on the look-out for further Partners to participate in the upcoming Co-Creation process. Interested?