Let's rewind and add another crucial perspective: the pandemic substantially shaped the socio-political context of the modern workplace. It forced a large segment of the global workforce to undergo a remote work experiment of unknown magnitude. With blurred boundaries between work and personal lives, remote and hybrid leaders faced common challenges in 2022, which included culture, collaboration, engagement, and inclusion.
The call to return to the office to innovate and foster connections that allow team members to feel confident and comfortable taking risks never seems to stop. Studies by MIT and Microsoft showed that remote work makes it harder for these water-cooler interactions to happen. It causes resistance among workers who have discovered something that works for them and demonstrated productivity gains. Does any of this sound familiar?
On the contrary, a research study by McKinsey showed that over the past two years, there were a record number of patents, and VC funding increased by 111%. The findings show that innovation can be done effectively with the right processes and mindsets.
For cross-boundary collaboration to succeed, optimists and pessimists play a crucial role. Optimists foster innovation and have a growth mindset. Pessimists help improve the process by pointing out its potential flaws. Similarly, M&A integration involves significant uncertainty and require organisations to navigate various challenges related to cultural integration, collaboration, employee engagement, and innovation. These challenges can be even more pronounced in cross-border transactions, where differences in language, culture, and legal systems can further complicate the process.
Demographic diversity, including gender, ethnicity, and age, doesn't deliver better results in new, uncertain, and complex situations. Cognitive diversity, however, leads to better performance in uncertain times.
Research has identified twelve identity elements forming the key to establishing effective work relationships. These elements are indispensable for cross-boundary collaboration and, as such, successful M&A deals. Eight of these 12 elements determine cognitive diversity.
And then, there are eight intangible identity elements. These parts of our identity construction are less visible yet primarily developmental. They change with time and are shaped by our life experiences. They require a second look and are more difficult to detect and determine. People are often unaware of the roles they play in their own and others' identity constructions. The potential lack of identity and self-awareness is why we can view them as the base of an iceberg below the water's surface. Examples of intangible identity elements are wellbeing and geopolitics, which play an essential role in how we engage with one another and express innovative ideas.
A measurable concept enables teams to understand and leverage overlaps and gaps from diverse thinking for collaboration and innovation. Before this happens, busy leaders, often unfamiliar with cognitive diversity, need support to facilitate change. This is where the innovation playbook comes in.
Cognitive diversity delivers actual results. Organisations with a measurable cognitive diversity agenda are better prepared to succeed in 2023 and beyond. A high degree of cognitive diversity generates accelerated learning and performance in new, uncertain, and complex situations - precisely what innovation requires.
A cognitive diversity approach to innovation is an effective way to improve M&A due diligence and integration, as well as remote work and hybrid teams. By bringing together individuals with diverse perspectives and experiences, organisations can more effectively navigate the complexities of cross-boundary transactions and identify new opportunities for growth and innovation.
Furthermore, the lessons learned from managing remote and hybrid teams during the pandemic can be applied to M&A integration processes. For instance, organisations that have developed solid virtual communication and collaboration skills may be better equipped to navigate cross-border M&A deals. The parallel highlights the importance of being agile and adaptable in uncertain situations related to remote work and M&A due diligence. By leveraging innovation and cognitive diversity, organisations can turn uncertainty into opportunity, emerging more robust and resilient in the face of challenges.
If you want to leverage cognitive diversity in your organisation, contact us! We would be delighted to help you seize cognitive diversity opportunities for cross-boundary work collaboration.