Manage Icon Key Benefits of a Diverse Workforce

As a project manager, I’m fortunate to work with diverse teams. This means that the team members have differences, such as ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, professional experiences, and so on. The fact that the individuals look at opportunities and problems based on their unique perspectives, creates an environment that is filled with creativity and innovation.Learning to Accept OthersThe first step to creating a diverse workforce is to have an open-mind. There are far too many leaders and managers who prefer to work with people who think like they do. The problem with this approach is that the backgrounds and experiences of the individuals are similar, which means that they are looking at the situation in a similar way. The solutions derived from a homogenous team are often limited in depth. This occurs because consensus-building happens quickly, given the people think nearly alike.


I’ve been fortunate to work with managers who are open to having diverse teams. In fact, most of them are merely looking to assemble a qualified team, and it just so happens that diversity occurs naturally. However, managers must take an intentional approach to creating teams that are composed of people with different backgrounds and perspectives. It’s not enough to hope that diversity is the end-result of the team formation process.My Scrum Coaching ExampleWhile attending a Scrum coaching conference in San Diego, the participants were assigned to teams of 6 people. Our group was tasked with learning more about the project management concepts of Scrum and Waterfall. To make our name catchy, we called the topic “Scrum Fall.” Waterfall is an approach to managing predictive projects, such as swimming pool construction, planning an annual conference, and so on. Differently, Scrum is an Agile framework dedicated to unpredictable projects, such as software development.Our team was composed of four women and two men, and the nationalities included Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic, and Indian. The first step was to determine the process by which our team would present the results to all the participants. As a college professor, presentations generally mean that a PowerPoint approach is best. However, the Indian female team member suggested that we use an engaging skit. The young Caucasian participant, who makes many presentations for her company, recommended that we use clear examples. The Asian male on our team reinforced the importance of including clear literature to support our stance. Even though our team was diverse based on ethnicity, the input was based largely on work experience. By working together, we delivered an excellent presentation on the final day of the class. We worked together for two days, and some folks from the audience commented that they could feel the synergy we had as a team.


Creating high-performance teams is far from easy. When running projects, my job is to find the right people to do the right work at the right time, and for these individuals to make the right decisions. Given that so much of the work performed today is complex, it’s important to have teams who can look at the situation from unique perspectives. To reinforce a point made earlier, let’s make sure to have an open mind when staffing teams. The focus must be on performance, and diverse teams oftentimes have the aptitude to deliver excellent results.

Why Is the Blockchain Technology Important?

Let’s say that a new technology is developed that could allow many parties to transact a real estate deal. The parties get together and complete the details about timing, special circumstances and financing. How will these parties know they can trust each other? They would have to verify their agreement with third parties – banks, legal teams, government registration and so on. This brings them back to square one in terms of using the technology to save costs.

In the next stage, the third parties are now invited to join the real estate deal and provide their input while the transaction is being created in real time. This reduces the role of the middleman significantly. If the deal is this transparent, the middleman can even be eliminated in some cases. The lawyers are there to prevent miscommunication and lawsuits. If the terms are disclosed upfront, these risks are greatly reduced. If the financing arrangements are secured upfront, it will be known in advance that the deal will be paid for and the parties will honour their payments. This brings us to the last stage of the example. If the terms of the deal and the arrangements have been completed, how will the deal be paid for? The unit of measure would be a currency issued by a central bank, which means dealing with the banks once again. Should this happen, the banks would not allow these deals to be completed without some sort of due diligence on their end and this would imply costs and delays. Is the technology that useful in creating efficiency up to this point? It is not likely.

What is the solution? Create a digital currency that is not only just as transparent as the deal itself, but is in fact part of the terms of the deal. If this currency is interchangeable with currencies issued by central banks, the only requirement remaining is to convert the digital currency into a well-known currency like the Canadian dollar or the U.S. dollar which can be done at any time.

The technology being alluded to in the example is the blockchain technology. Trade is the backbone of the economy. A key reason why money exists is for the purpose of trade. Trade constitutes a large percentage of activity, production and taxes for various regions. Any savings in this area that can be applied across the world would be very significant. As an example, look at the idea of free trade. Prior to free trade, countries would import and export with other countries, but they had a tax system that would tax imports to restrict the effect that foreign goods had on the local country. After free trade, these taxes were eliminated and many more goods were produced. Even a small change in trade rules had a large effect on the world’s commerce. The word trade can be broken down into more specific areas like shipping, real estate, import/export and infrastructure and it is more obvious how lucrative the blockchain is if it can save even a small percentage of costs in these areas.