We know that the more biological diversity (at the species level, the genetic level, and ecological level), the more natural sustainability and productivity for all life forms.
We know that the more investment diversity in our retirement accounts, the more opportunity for higher returns with less risk.
We know that the more gender diversity on leadership teams of for-profit businesses, the more apt they are to realize more profit when compared with single-gendered leadership teams.
We know that the more racial diversity on leadership teams of for-profit businesses, the more likely they are to be innovative and understand the needs of their customers.
We even know that the more multi-channel solicitation diversity a non-profit consistently employs for its annual giving program (i.e., social media, direct mail, email, phone, video, face-to-face), the more likely it is to raise more money.
And the diversity-positive list could go on and on. . . In short, we know that nature itself teaches us that as diversity increases, more resources (not less) are created. Institutionally, more diversity – in a host of various forms – makes us healthier, more productive, more mission-centered, more innovative and more responsive. Enhancing diversity allows us to create better strategies and provides us with the perspectives needed to come to better decisions.
But. . .
What we also know from Newton is that a “body at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an external force.” In other words, the status quo doesn’t change itself. And simply knowing that it is good to become more diverse as a leadership team, or that it is more productive to offer donors more channel-diverse solicitation options, or that your institution will become more innovative as you hire more diverse individuals on your team is not enough.
To develop greater diversity and make our institutions stronger, each of us has a choice to make. Will we be the body at rest that is content with the status quo?
Or, will we be the external force that makes an impact?