Understanding Diversity and Creativity

Natalie Foria | Digital Marketing Specialist
September 25, 2019

INTRODUCTION

How do you view diversity and creativity? Merriam-Webster defines diversity as the condition of having or being composed of differing elements. Within individuals this can be demographic factors such as race, ethnicity, or religion. However, more interestingly, it refers to psychological attributes like personality, values, and abilities which vary in individuals on a deeper level. 

Creativity is the ability to generate new, imaginative ideas that are valuable. Creativity comes in many forms both tangible, like artistic accomplishments, and intangible, like  critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Creativity is something that all of us are born with, but certain environments and factors can foster our inherent skills and cause them to come to the forefront more easily. This is where diversity and creativity meet. This meeting can occur across many platforms, lets see how it affects personal and workplace creativity.

DIVERSITY AND PERSONAL CREATIVITY

As I said before, all individuals possess some sort of creative ability. It may manifest in different ways, but at some point we all have a need to use our creative skills to the best of our ability. Many times people speak off being in a creative rut where they simply cannot think of any ideas. Luckily, the concept of diversity comes in to save the day. 

There have been many studies on how to boost creativity in individuals, with many finding that diversifying the mind helps your brain to think in a new way. Many reference trying something new to gain inspiration or collaborating with someone else to gain new perspective. One trick related to creative problem-solving include looking to concepts outside of the realm of what one is working on and trying to understand it in an attempt to apply it to the problem at hand. 

Let’s not forget, another for artistic projects is to use something, like a material or color you don’t like in order to start thinking out of the box. All of these have one common denominator of exposing oneself to diversity. One particularly interesting study mentioned by Forbes has found that creativity in enhanced by living abroad. They found that when one actually moves abroad to foreign country, not merely visits, their creativity spikes over time.

This is attributed to the fact that those who immerse themselves in foreign cultures and take part in multicultural experiences gives them more flexibility in creating and connecting ideas. By actually understanding and learning from a diverse culture, they were able to reach creative deals much more often than the subjects who had never had that experience. This shows that diversity and creativity are allied together.

DIVERSITY AND CREATIVITY IN WORK GROUPS 

In a previous post, we have already highlighted why diversity in the workplace is important. Additionally, creativity is also an important factor in any business, as it is necessary for growth and evolution. The same theories and findings on how diversity aids creativity on an individual level can be applied within a work environment. For example, having team members that are used to solving problems for accounting may be able to come in and collaborate with the Human Resources team and see a way those principles can be applied to solving a problem in that department.

Also, people from different backgrounds and cultures are able to replicate, on a smaller scale, the ability to take multicultural experiences to create new ideas and concepts found in the study.  Creativity from diversity gives work groups the ability to build out ideas that will be beneficial to a wider audience. Or if a specific audience is being targeted, having someone who understands and identifies with that group will provide better insight and flow of information to produce content or ideas that resonate with who you are trying to reach. 

CONCLUSION 

Diverse Culture uses these principles to foster creativity within our network of clients as well as within our own organization. We value diversity, creativity, and innovation above all else, and want to bring these to the forefront in order to create success for those we work with as well as ourselves. If you want to learn more about what we stand for, contact us!

The bottom line is that diversity and creativity are two aspects of life that not only needed, but must be cherished. Once you are able to use one to enhance the other, the possibilities are endless, making the individual, an organization, and even the world expand their value. How have you experienced diversity and creativity together?

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