Haarlems Dagblad, March 2019

“Do you think there is a connection between diversity and the success of a company?” An enthusiastic trend watcher asked the audience. The man continued his story without waiting for an answer. His question was buzzing in my mind. I thought about the role that diversity plays in a computerized and robotized world with human touch points, so that the speaker’s voice faded into the background. 

In my thoughts I further philosophized about my statement that the only relevance of a person or an organization is the value it brings about. The value of diversity is therefore linked to the value generated, I concluded. Diversity in cultural background, education or gender must therefore be used to create value. “That’s how information hubs are created,” I heard the speaker say. Information hubs and diversity? I thought of port cities where traditionally a diversity of companies and cultures met. This form of diversity created a vibrant breeding ground that brought about innovation and development. This diversity probably also caused heated discussions in cafés, I imagined, smiling inside. If we succeed in using diversity as a means to generate innovative value, then this can lead to success. Promptly I heard myself say again: “Make a distinction between what you want to achieve and the method to achieve this.” In this case this means letting the noses point in the same direction by making clear what the company wants to bring about (strategic focus) and using the diversity in the method to achieve this. Automation and robotization make this possible. I immediately got some ideas. “Swarms” I heard the speaker say and started the following philosophical discussion in my mind.