The Diversity-Innovation Link

Video Icon Video
Monday, October 24, 2022
Representatives from AACSB’s 2022 Innovations That Inspire selections discuss the intrinsic connection between diversity and innovation.
Representatives from AACSB’s 2022 Innovations That Inspire highlights: Elizabeth Moon, Zayne Imam, Joshua Park, Tayah Butler, Michael Henry, Maggie Merry, and Abdul Hanan Chowdhury.
  • To achieve diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, leaders must intentionally bring in voices from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. 
  • Many of today’s systems operate from a tradition of likeminded thinking. Adding differing perspectives prompts us to reinvent a system altogether, which is the essence of innovation.
  • The more we prioritize equity and access, the more we will be compelled to innovate, generating the rewards of a more advanced society.

Transcript

Elizabeth Moon: [0:14] Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is truly the foundation in my mind of innovation. Innovation only comes from a myriad of different perspectives and ideas in a room together to create solutions to problems.

[0:31] Business schools in particular are solutions to problems. Businesses are built to solve a problem to provide a service. As business schools, it is our responsibility to bring in those myriad of voices and build those leaders that are able to take those ideas of a diverse group of individuals and bring them into a room so that everyone has a voice at that table.

For us to innovate, for us to get new ideas, we sometimes need to create the spaces that allow for new voices to contribute to the solutions.

Zayne Imam: [0:56] For me, the connection between diversity, inclusion, and innovation tends to be about adding more perspective. That's really probably the most important element here is that by including more voices at the table, we tend to find that new solutions come up, because new opportunities are identified, new markets are identified.

[1:21] Even with solutions that we currently have, we find that there might be even a better solution because there might have been the same type of voice, the same type of life experience involved in constructing the current set of solutions that we have today.

[1:37] For us to innovate, for us to get new ideas, we sometimes need to create the spaces that allow for new voices to contribute to the solutions.

Joshua Park: [1:48] In my view, innovation, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are quite inseparable actually. Innovation comes from being able to be exposed to different things, as well as being able to be accepting of different ideas and different actions. That's the definition of diversity. Obviously, diversity also leads to differences between people which then leads to conflicts.

[2:18] Only when an organization or an institution is able to embrace equity or inclusiveness, or making people feel belong, can you have differences or diversity, be what we could call a productively disruptive force for innovation as opposed to something that's divisive and destructive for an organization.

Equity, diversity, inclusion, and indigenization is fundamentally linked to innovation.

Tayah Butler: [2:41] I love thinking about this connection between innovation, diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging. My mind quickly goes to the connection to equity. In our systems where we're used to seeing things done the same way over and over, we need to take equity lenses.

[3:01] The only way we're going to be able to change our systems is to completely reinvent them. That's the basics of innovation. The more we focus on equity and access, the more we're going to be compelled to innovate new ways to provide our educational services, to work together, and to educate the future business leaders.

Michael Henry: [3:22] Equity, diversity, inclusion, and indigenization is fundamentally linked to innovation. When we think about innovation, we think about looking at things in a new way, creating new things, putting new things together.

[3:37] If we look at equity and we look at bringing different voices to the table, we look at inclusion in a way that speaks to not just bringing people to the table, but distributing the power in the voice to those people.

You cannot fully innovate without a place where people have diversity of thoughts, a place where people are feeling safe to share those thoughts.

[3:49] If you bring an indigenous way of knowing to the table, then you have new perspectives. You have new ways of looking at the world and at the issues facing our society today. That spurs innovation.

Maggie Merry: [4:01] You cannot fully innovate without a place where people have diversity of thoughts, a place where people are feeling safe to share those thoughts. A place where everybody feels like they belong, are taken care of, and want to be part of those solutions for the future.

Abdul Hanan Chowdhury: [4:21] School should incorporate the inclusiveness access, also the belonging in their faculty selection, and also the student recruitment. As a whole, the culture has to be something that you are going to see a free-flow vent of knowledge.

[4:49] Giving opportunity to all unprivileged underrepresented groups of the people within a workplace, so that we can see that underrepresented group of people can also come forward in the society, and we can make a better society.

Subscribe to LINK, AACSB's weekly newsletter!
AACSB LINK—Leading Insights, News, and Knowledge—is an email newsletter that brings members and subscribers the newest, most relevant information in global business education.