What is Cognitive Diversity?

What is Cognitive Diversity?

Keynote Speakers on Diverse and Inclusive Thinking

What is cognitive diversity? It’s idea that a lot of conference and keynote speakers are talking about at the moment. It sounds intense, so before we start perhaps it may be a good idea to explain what it means.

Cognitive Diversity: – The inclusion of people with different styles of thinking, who can offer different perspectives on problem solving. 

 We can all agree that it’s important for businesses to think differently, but how can we actually do it? With this in mind, why not take a look at some of the keynote speakers below.

To start off, perhaps we ought to ask why should we think differently? Whether overcoming the ‘echo chamber’ or encouraging an ‘outsider mind set’, cognitive diversity is key to growing a business. A keynote speaker can help a company to see how to adapt its work culture and identify trends help to stay ahead of the curve.

Keynote speaker Matthew Syed is an author and a former UK number one ranked Table Tennis Player but what can he tell us? In his talk Matthew compares examples of ‘fixed’ versus ‘growth’ mind sets within organisations and how that affects their success. He advises, through ‘black box thinking’  and ‘rebel ideas’  how individuals and teams can overcome blind spots in their knowledge, change cultures of complacency and avoid mirroring flawed assumptions to help reach greater potential.

 

Whether looking for change internally or externally it’s vital to consider a diverse range of viewpoints. However cognitive diversity is about the importance of making sure those viewpoints are included. So how can we be more inclusive and who are the keynote speakers on the subject?

How about asking activist and author of the book Invisible Women, Caroline Criado Perez to an answer to this? Caroline champions diverse thinking, focusing on women and the gender data gap. In her talks she looks at how ‘male’ is often considered the default gender, with ‘female’ frequently being overlooked, resulting in companies often missing out on huge potential gaps in the market. As well as covering societal and cultural impacts, Caroline explains how including cognitively diverse ideas can lead to success; by encouraging corporate growth, fixing technology and algorithms, and helping design better products.

Caroline in the JLA office

So how can cognitive diversity better influence teamwork and problem solving? Inspiration can often come from the most surprising sources, so it’s important to have the right team around you when looking for solutions. Why not let a keynote speaker who has been to space tell you the value this brings when working as part of a team.

Former NASA Astronaut Mike Massimino can tell you exactly how important cognitive diversity within a team can be when it comes to troubleshooting on a space mission. In his talk, Mike credits the innovation of his NASA team to the diverse differences in their age, gender and nationalities, and how this brought fresh ideas and created a culture of inclusion where everyone mattered. Whether inventing new tools for impossible tasks or reacting to unforeseen repairs on the Hubble Space Telescope, Mike recounts occasions where his team help come up with answers when he simply couldn’t.

Mike Massimino in the JLA office

These are just a handful of the people we work with at JLA. If you would like to know more about any of the names featured, or if you need any further suggestions, please contact us

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