Pancake Day has become wildly popular in British culture over the years. What was once solely a religious celebration for indulging in something sweet before the beginning of Lent has now evolved into a fun and cultural staple that many Britons take part in.
When we think about pancakes, our minds tend to go one of two places – the thin, sugary lemon crepes of France, or the thick, maple-soaked stacks of North America. But what is so interesting to note is that the pancake – something that seems relatively simple in its creation – takes on so many different forms, flavours, and styles across the world. The Japanese have their savoury pancake, called okonomiyaki, the Swedes have grated potato pancakes called raggmunk, and in South India they have thin, savoury delicacies called dosas.
To me, this highlights the power of diverse perspectives. The pancake has been reimagined, reshaped, and reborn in so many different ways across the globe, and now there are so many innovative approaches to one dish. Now imagine applying this mindset to the working world – if employers foster and encourage diverse thinking, what are the benefits that they might be able to cook up?
Well, for one thing, a study published by Harvard Business Review discovered that teams solve problems faster when they are more cognitively diverse. Having a varied set of employees who have been enriched by different experiences in life will invite new ways of thinking and looking at something into workplace discussions. This paves the path for innovation and creativity, as well as being able to expand their customer base into new market territories that were potentially being missed previously.
But it is not as simple as hiring diversly – employers must also strive to foster a culture of inclusion so that each employee feels that they belong. This means encouraging open communication, embracing ‘taboos’, and challenging potential microaggressions that may hinder the assimilation of a diverse workforce. By creating this culture, employers will be able to unlock all of the opportunities that a diverse workforce has to offer, and there are many! In a recent McKinsey report, it was found that successful diverse companies outperform less varied organizations.
So this pancake day, opt to adopt the pancake mindset, and embrace the power of diversity and new perspectives by taking something and seeing its potential to be so much more.
If you would like to discuss how we can help your company diversify its hiring practices and foster an inclusive culture, please get in touch with us.