Innovation through Diverse Perspectives

February 17, 2011 - 1 Comment

“It’s the female trend and it’s the sustainability trends that are going to create some of the most interesting investment opportunities in the years to come.  The whole thing about the female trend is not about women being better than men.  It is actually about women being different from men—bringing different values and different ways to the table.  So what do you get?  You get better decision-making and you get less herd behavior and both of those things hit your bottom line with very positive results.”   Holla Tomasdittor, co-founder of Audur Capital.

This quote is quite highlighting a gender issue, but it is not really about a gender issue. It is about diversity of perspectives and experience in the workplace where experience means so much more than what companies you have worked for. As each individual person is a sum of their unique experiences of the world, every person is different. And it has been proved that men and women view the world differently, but so do people who live in the countryside and the city.

According to a study by Pepperdine professor Roy Adler there is direct correlation between female executives and the success of the company:

“The companies with the highest percentages of female executives delivered earnings far in excess of the median for other large firms in their industries”

This point doesn’t demonstrate that women make better executives than men; it simply shows that there is more than one way of being an executive and that having a mix of styles and experiences brings a new, profitable dimension to a company. So why are so many companies still adverse to “different” thinking when diverse perspectives can drive innovation?

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. This is the first of read of the Cisco blog, but I really enjoyed this post. I think that your point on cognitive diversity is a strong one and really hits at the underlying issue to gaining better leadership. Our company looks at how people think and behave and we just studied our data and found that women and men scored differently on measures from Analytical to Social Thinking preferences and Expressiveness and Assertiveness.

    It reinforces your point on the need for a strong set of diverse approaches and perspectives, irrespective of gender. The full post is here ( if you’re interested. Thanks for the perspective and post!

    Mark E. Miller
    Director of Marketing
    Emergenetics International