Diversity in perspectives: get the jigsaw done more quickly

My daughter and I had been jigsaw-ing for about 20 minutes. Our progress had slowed. I kept picking up the same piece, and I couldn’t find the piece that would complete the edge of the top left-hand corner. Someone suggested we change seats and for next 10 minutes we made a rush of progress. What had just happened? And why?

The sunlight was no longer bouncing off the table and into my eyes, pieces that I had been ignoring as too far away were now easily within reach, and my daughter soon fixed the corner I had agonized over. The red boat in the foreground was completed by some pieces that I had been staring at from the wrong angle.  

It took me to my work. At Elephants we are recruiting at the moment.  

We have made it our mission to be sure we are bringing in different perspectives and spotting patterns others might miss. We are cultural magpies, sharing ideas and crashing together alien concepts to create newness. Our morning meetings are enriched by the different views and experiences around the table. Sometimes this comes from lifestyle or life-stage differences. For example, a parent sees the back seat of a car in a different way to a pre-family 20-something, which is why Mercedes-Benz considers the uniqueness of each of its customers with Perfect Match. Sometimes ethnicity and associated practices and social structures, allows us to consider different approaches and models. Sometimes the richness comes from a gender-led experience. Have you seen how Flo write copy!?

Our backgrounds often shape the seat we sit in and the angle at which we look at the puzzle we have been set by our clients. Whether we are looking at approaches to bring nutrition to the deep south of the USA, how to extol the virtues of China’s pre-eminent athleisure brand, or how to popularize some of the best vegetarian meals in the UK, we need to look at the issue from different sides, with different lenses, and differing perspectives.

This is what diversity means to us; richness in perspective, richness in debate, richness in results.    

The Herd