A Recipe to Enhance Innovation

The New York Times:

For America, 2012 will go down in history as the year of the Latinos, the blacks, the women and the gays. That rainbow coalition won President Barack Obama his second term. This triumph of the outsiders is partly due to America’s changing demographics. And it is not just the United States that is becoming more diverse. Canada is, too, as is much of Europe.

That is why it is worth thinking hard about how to make diverse teams effective, and how people who straddle two cultural worlds can succeed. Three academics, appropriately enough a diverse group based in Asia and America, have been doing some provocative research that suggests that our ability to comfortably integrate our different identities — or not — is the key.

In “Connecting the Dots Within: Creative Performance and Identity Integration,” Chi-Ying Cheng, of Singapore Management University, Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks, of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and Fiona Lee, also at the University of Michigan, argue that ethnic minorities, and women in male-dominated professions, are most creative when they have found a way to believe that their “multiple and conflicting social identities are compatible.”

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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