With increasing globalisation, both large and small businesses are forced to compete in a more complicated environment, new findings from the Center for Talent Innovation (Chivee,2013) indicated that serial innovation come from diverse teams. Also quite a lot of companies in fashion industry are doing global business now, for example GUCCI and Coco Channel. Due to the environment of fashion industry, a fashion company values innovation highly, so that they can lead the pace of fashion and keep sustainable profit. However, diverse teams are easy to encounter barriers to communication, therefore more time and efforts are needed to reach the goal (Polzer,2008). This blog is aimed at evaluate these two plus and minus sides of diverse teams, and identify what companies should execute the diverse teams.
Today, many global companies are doing business on a global scale, and gradually these companies soon realize the importance of diversity in teams and groups, as diversity in teams can bring new products, services and ideas. An individual can be different in many aspects, such as gender, culture, age, physical abilities, nationality, ethics or religious practices etc(Financial Times,2013). It is obvious that each person is unique as each person is molded by external and internal factors.
A company can benefit from diverse teams, due to people with different characters can collaborate to figure out a wildly diverse result. When working on the projects, the team members will process totally diverse views and information, and , in doing so, people can walk outside the comfort zones and give a thought to the fresh ideas, therefore more details with be considered, deeper side of issues can be identified and broader ideas can be explored, all of which improve performance(Fitz,2013). This can be explained specifically in fashion industry, as black girls have a specific body shape, and Asian girls have a specific body shape, the market can be very different.
The research based on 1,800 respondent from the Center for Talent Innovation identified that diversity from team can bring innovation. Just by being men, women, black people, gay , young or with different nationality, the views coming from diverse people facilitate identification of new opportunities in markets that other companies without diverse team may not find it easy to see((CHIVÉE,2013). And as service and information technology are increasingly important in fashion industry, diverse team can reach different way to serve people in different culture or environment.
(diverse team in GUCCI from all over world)
Also some other researches show that diverse teams may perform weakly relative to similar teams, while similar teams are easier and quicker to build effective ways of communicating. Nevertheless, diverse teams can improve over time, and often finally outperform similar teams, when team members begin to learn to deal with these difference of each member and convert these difference to better outcome(Klein,2006).
On the other hand, diverse teams sometimes can be harmful and are prone to dysfunction, as the difference that create creativity can build barriers to communication as well. When diverse teams are suffering from members’ struggle to understand, relate to, or trust other members with different characteristics. This misunderstanding may lead to tense atmosphere in the team, therefore lead to bad team performance. So that more time and effort could be cost to reach a outcome or a common understanding, so transaction costs could be raised due to poor team work. Hence, activities requiring conventional team-building cannot execute such groups.
In order for managers to get benefits from diverse groups, a smart manager must balance the characteristics of each member. In addition to that, a mart manager should encourage communicate between members, listen actively or improve interpersonal congruence((Polzer,2008).After all, if the new ideas are ignored, there would be no point in making the diver team which provide fresh ideas.
From my point of view, carrying out diverse teams can benefit companies on a global scale that requires complex consideration from many different angles of an issue or innovation, for diverse teams can boost detailed consideration to create innovative results to avoid missing opportunities. Especially in fashion industry, people have to be very open-minded to touch the heart of customers. On the contrary, when these factors are not important for other local companies, it could be a better choice to use similar teams, for the rapid communication and higher cohesion between the team members.
To conclude, increasing globalisation has forced companies to compete in a fierce environment and required companies to get more innovative ideas, diverse teams can be one of ways to boost performance of global companies, but diverse teams come with some potential risk-create communication barriers. A company should evaluate their own condition and see if they should use diverse teams or not. For my industry-fashion, I would use diverse team in this industry, due to its characteristics- fashion.
Financial Times. 2013. Definition of diverse teams. [ONLINE] Available at: http://lexicon.ft.com/Term?term=diverse-teams. [Accessed 12 February 14].
Jeffrey T. Polzer. 2008. Making Diverse Teams Click. [ONLINE] Available at: http://hbr.org/2008/07/making-diverse-teams-click/ar/1. [Accessed 11 February 14].
Robin Fritz. 2013. Diversity for Groups & Teams in the Workplace. [ONLINE] Available at:http://smallbusiness.chron.com/diversity-groups-teams-workplace-10998.html. [Accessed 11 February 14].
Kenji Klein. 2013. Culturally Diverse Teams that Work. [ONLINE] Available at:http://merage.uci.edu/Resources/Documents/Culturally%20Diverse%20Teams%20that%20Work%20WEB.pdf. [Accessed 12 February 14].
LAUREN LEADER-CHIVÉE. 2013. New Study: Diversity Drives Serial Innovation. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.inc.com/lauren-leader-chiv%C3%A9e/diversity-helps-maximize-your-innovation-potential-.html. [Accessed 11 February 14].