🙋🏼♀️ Dearest you,
What do you think of when I say diversity at work?
My guess is you're thinking of differences in identity.
In today’s world a diverse organization is one where a multitude of genders, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientation, ages, and physical appearances is part of the workforce.
An idea I've been thinking about lately is that of neurodiversity.
This term is often used to refer to phenomena like ADHD and autism without reinforcing existing stigmas. Each brain is unique and therefore our preferences and needs regarding learning, social activities, moods, and attention spans are unique.
As our collective work is becoming more and more thinking and less doing, it pays to select for neurodiversity as well as diversity in identity.
Furthermore, it pays off big-time to get to know your own preferred ways of thinking. Just search for 'ways of thinking' and our beloved Google will spoil you with endless juxtapositions:
Abstract and concrete thinking
Convergent and divergent thinking
Linear and non-linear thinking
Creative and analytical thinking.
The thing is: these are all dependent on the context.
Personally I'm a pretty non-linear thinker. When it comes to personal life however, linear thinking is my modus operandi — something with emotions and finding them tricky 😉.
But if neurodiversity is inevitable and those differences are also context-dependent, then how can we select for a neurodiverse workforce?
I think we should select future employees for their metacognitive abilities.
The word meta originates from the Greek μετά - which means after or beyond. Thinking on a meta-level is the ability to think beyond your thinking - still following? 😉
Employees that have an overview of their thinking are the ones you want to hold onto tightly. Not because metacognition alone is going to give your organization the best results, but because of employees with an enormous ability to reflect have the capacity to tell you what they need to do their work best.
So neurodiversity + metacognition = golden combo. Got it? 😉
Have a great week,
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