That management diversity might be linked to innovation isn’t a new concept. But it is a di cult thing to prove. In a new study, BCG and the Technical University of Munich use statistical methods to quantify the impact that different types of diversity have on companies’ ability to generate new sources of revenue. The study shows a clear link between diversity and innovation.
The Diversity-Innovation Link
Four types of diversity—country of origin, career path, industry background, and gender—positively correlate with innovation. However, the four don’t have the same impact on every kind of company. Large companies and complex companies consistently show innovation bene ts from management diversity. For companies that are not as large or complex, the impact tends to be small or nonexistent.
Diversity produces the biggest innovation bene t at companies that value open- ness in their work environments and explicitly encourage di erent perspectives. This can come from something as informal as a culture of participative leadership or something more formal like the rollout of tools to facilitate communications.