When innovation has no borders, culture is the key

Talented and creative people can be found in all parts of the world. Companies that successfully bring together this diversity of talent can ignite the much-needed spark of innovation that fuels sustainable growth.

Our ‘Innovation Without Borders’ report presents a pragmatic path for business leaders who intend to drive creativity and innovation through global diversity. The report is based on a first-of-its-kind survey of leaders from 20 industries and 10 countries, the personal beliefs that guide them, and the operational tactics they use. Among our discoveries:

The business case for globally diverse teams is clear: 95% of respondents said they intend to build globally diverse teams to address talent shortages, better respond to needs of global consumers and to generate the creative spark that fuels innovation.

· Yet most pursue global diversity in ad hoc, non-strategic ways. Only 5% of respondents have fully deployed globally diverse teams in their organization, embedded the principles and values ​​of global diversity into their corporate DNA, and derived compelling benefits for growth and development. ‘innovation.

· Senior executives, especially in large, established companies, are concerned about the significant cultural change that a globally diverse workforce brings. Leaders of large corporations who express a strong intention to pursue global diversity (and many already do) also express healthy skepticism about getting thousands of employees to follow them without ruffling a few feathers.

Is there a way to reap the benefits of global diversity without risking organizational disruption? We think so. Becoming a globally diverse organization is a multi-year journey, but it can be managed without undue disruption by establishing a clear vision of its current starting position, then following a deliberate series of concrete steps and tactics. Here’s how.

Helen D. Jessen