Leverage Diversity - Richland County Foundation

The Power of Diversity

By Brady Groves

June 1, 2017

In The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools and Societies, University of Michigan economist Scott Page presents research proving that groups of people representing different backgrounds, genders, cultures and thinking styles are better than homogeneous groups at solving problems. This finding has huge implications for community foundations, where creative problem-solving is essential if we are to continue to meet the changing needs of our community.

A study featured in The Harvard Business Review found that leaders who create inclusive environments where different voices are welcomed and engaged were nearly twice as likely as other to achieve value-driving insights. Employees in those environments were 3.5 times as likely to contribute their full innovative potential.

 (Excerpts from “Is your Foundation Leveraging the Power of Differences? Council of Michigan Foundations)

Through the work of our state association for philanthropy, Philanthropy Ohio, staff and committees are weaving this important topic into its menu of member services.

Diversity and differences are strategic tools that help us see our blind spots, make better decisions and be more effective as we address ways to assist communities seeking change.

To achieve equity, philanthropies must address challenging conversations—and keep having them. This work is long and hard. We have to understand that challenge is a catalyst for growth. Challenges to an organization make us work harder for something greater than what any individual among us could achieve.


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