I had the pleasure of attending Domo’s annual conference, Domopalooza, out in Salt Lake City this week. It was a great show, and Domo is doing amazing things with their product in the coming year which I’ll delve into more on the Analytics Neat podcast on Monday, March 19. From a content perspective, a Keynote with Omar Johnson, the former CMO of Beats by Dre and current Founder of Opus, really stood out to me.
During his discussion, Omar said: “When you have a diverse team you get different points of view. When you get different points of view you make better decisions.” Whether you are a 5-person company or a 500-person company, this is some of the best advice you can ever adhere to.
All too often you hear things during the hiring process such as “this person is a great cultural fit,” or “this person has the same mentality we do.” This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, provided you are referring to the corporate values or purpose, but could become a major issue if you’re just hiring a variety of like-minded individuals into your leadership positions.
Organizations that get too comfortable tend to be the organizations that get surpassed by competitors and lose relevance. At some point, you will be faced with decisions that will impact the direction of the business. If you don’t have people across your leadership team that challenge the existing thinking or play devil’s advocate when presented with a new way of thinking, then you can’t be confident that you have thought of all the angles as CEO.
However, this isn’t just a potential leadership problem. Most of your innovation will come from the front lines across your client-facing teams. It’s important to make sure the same diversity exists throughout the entire organization and becomes a backbone for the culture you are looking to achieve. Fostering an open culture where employees feel they can challenge the status quo and drive innovation for your clients begins by hiring people with different backgrounds and ways of thinking.
So, as you build your business or look to take your business through its next breakthrough, make sure that every hire you make adds value and brings something new to the business. While it is easier to go through life unchallenged, the easy path won’t get you the success you need as a leader. Hire challengers, people who think differently, and give them the clearing they need to have an impact on the business. When you create a culture that cultivates this mentality, you can be more confident that the business is in good hands.