BCG shares this study on the strong connection between firms with diverse leadership teams and their ability to innovate. “People with different backgrounds and experiences often see the same problems in different ways and come up with different solutions, increasing the odds that one of those solutions will be a hit.”

The study demonstrates that merely having leadership teams that feature differences in national origin, industry background, gender, and career path was sufficient to produce outsized gains in revenue generated from innovation. Importantly, the authors point out that merely having a diverse team is only a partial solution. A critical factor for maximizing the value of diversity is that the firm must also foster an ‘inclusive foundation’. It’s not enough to put a diverse team together – there must also be mechanisms for forcing them to work effectively together.

Due to the structure of the study, the ability to directly measure inclusion was limited. The authors were forced instead to use indirect measures such as the presence of fair employment practices and a strategic emphasis on diversity by the CEO. Yet even these indirect measures showed that inclusion is a critical cultural norm that must be present in order to maximize the value of diversity.

Starling directly measures and maps the relational dynamics of employees within the firm generating a real-time view of inclusion at a granular level. Combined with data on employee backgrounds, Starling provides management teams with a dynamic tool for fostering goals for both diversity and inclusion.

Read the article: How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation