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The Importance Of Network Diversity

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rebekahbastian/2019/10/09/the-importance-of-network-diversity/

forbes.com

The Importance Of Network Diversity
It is important to be cognizant of the networks we are part of and the diversity that is present within them. Given that our networks influence the way we think and the opportunities we give and receive, lack of diversity can propagate inequitable systems and create echo chambers of perspectives.

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Network diversity

Network diversity

Our networks are usually formed around shared experiences and they influence the way we see the work, how we think and the opportunities we give and receive.

So a lack of diversity inside our networks can propagate inequitable systems and create echo chambers of perspectives.

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Professional networks

Professional networks

They usually comprise the colleagues we work with (team members or project collaborators). It may not seem like it, but we do have a lot of influence over the broader makeup of these networks.

We choose the people we spend time with (at lunch or coffee), the people we mentor or the people we seek advice from. Being intentional about the diversity of that network will result in better decision making for us and our companies.

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Social networks

Social networks

They have an influence over the way we think and ultimately, over our work outputs.

To diversify our social networks, we can start by following and connecting with people that hold different identities and viewpoints.

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Centered Spaces

Centered Spaces

Although having diverse networks is very important for expanding circles of influence and achieving equitable results, there is also a need for centered spaces, particularly for populations that are underrepresented or marginalized in the workplace.

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Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion

There is a significant relationship between competitive profit gains and diversity.

Companies with gender, ethnic and racial diversity are at least 15 percent more likely to experience...

5 Lessons for Managing D&I

  • Recognize the Shift in Global Understanding of D&I.  Diverse thinkers come from a variety of different backgrounds.
  • Build an Inclusive Environment. All people are encouraged to draw upon their unique experiences, perspectives and backgrounds to advance business goals.
  • Use Multiple Practices and Measures.  Have solutions in place to monitor and retain a talented and diverse workforce.
  • Ensure Leaders Model Diversity and Inclusion. It sets the tone for the rest of the organization to follow suit.
  • Recognize the Connection Between Innovation and D&I. Diversity and inclusion increase innovation and reduce business risk.

Cognitive Diversity

The concept of cognitive diversity focuses on diversity of thinking and is composed of four dimensions:

  • Perspectives. People represent situations in different ways
  • Interpretations. Through diverse interpretations, teams can discover multiple resolutions.
  • Heuristics. People resolve issues in different ways.
  • Predictive models. Some analyze, and others look for a story. Both are useful for discovering workplace solutions.

Network Effects

Network effects are the unseen forces that are guiding our destiny and exerting a powerful intervention on our lives, creating energy that escorts us down a path that is not always fully our intent...

Zipf's Law

Zipf's law is a mathematical probability that states that in a given set, the most frequently used data value (or word) is used twice as often as the next most common value. This is true in various statistical sets like income distribution in companies, internet traffic, phone calls received, and language.

One of the implications of this law is there are unconscious network forces and mathematical patterns governing our lives, with human beings just being nodes exchanging information.

Dinner Party Mathematics

When six to eight people are conversing at a dinner party, it is easy to focus on one conversation, but if the number is higher (say 15), then two-way conversations are more likely.

When groups get larger, the change is exponential, not linear, affecting one's social experience.

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Essential for our survival

Friendships need to be carefully acquired to avoid negative influences. Friendships need a continuous effort that can be difficult to manage. They will go through ups and downs and will be subject ...

Advantages of friendships

Friendships create diversity. Your chances of dealing with certain problems are increased if you have friends with different skillsets.

  • For instance, the death of a partner. Your survival is dependent on having close friends who can support you through difficult times.
  • Friends with different interests, strengths, and weaknesses provide a safe space to help us test our ideas and develop our character.
  • Friends with different talents can help us realize our own potential.
  • Our life expectancy increases with a network of reliable friends.

A key component of success

If friendship becomes another checkbox on your to-do list, you're probably going to miss out on good friendships.

If we put in some effort into learning how to become a good friend, the rest will come easier. With friendships, we live longer, with more laughter, less fear, and a higher quality of life.