Today, we have the pleasure of sitting down with David Rigby, a seasoned professional with a wealth of experience in coaching, training, consulting, and mentoring. David has a unique focus on diversity and inclusion, making him a valuable asset in helping companies discover and leverage their blind spots to gain a competitive edge. Join us as we explore David’s journey, delve into the concept of cognitive diversity, and learn how it can transform businesses.
David Rigby: A Diverse Journey
Our conversation begins with David sharing a bit about his background. Originally from England, David’s career journey has taken him to an impressive 22 different countries. His international experiences have provided him with a profound understanding of diverse cultures and perspectives. Currently residing in Spain, David runs a company called Smart Coaching and Training, where he empowers others to excel in fields such as leadership, communication, and diversity.
One striking aspect of David’s expertise is his focus on cognitive diversity, a concept that extends beyond the traditional definitions of diversity. He understands that having a team of individuals who think differently is essential for innovation and growth.
Cognitive Diversity Unveiled
To grasp the importance of cognitive diversity, David offers a new perspective. While diversity is often associated with factors like gender, race, and age, cognitive diversity looks at how people think. It encompasses introverts and extroverts, logical and emotional thinkers, and various personality traits. The key is to bring together individuals who approach problems and solutions from different angles.
David stresses that recruiting individuals who are too similar to the existing team can lead to a lack of diverse thinking. To truly thrive, teams need members who challenge one another, bring fresh ideas, and question the status quo. This diversity isn’t just about having a token representative from each group; it’s about fostering an environment where everyone’s unique perspective is valued.
Overcoming Barriers to Diversity
While many companies recognize the importance of diversity, implementing it can be challenging. David acknowledges that one significant barrier is fear. People often resist diversity because they’re uncomfortable with being questioned or challenged. However, this discomfort is precisely what’s needed to stimulate innovation and growth.
David emphasizes the importance of recognizing and overcoming personal inhibitions and fears. It’s crucial for leaders to embrace diversity and encourage their teams to think differently. Only then can a company truly harness the power of cognitive diversity.
Building an Inclusive Culture
David’s expertise extends to creating inclusive cultures within organizations. He believes that mentorship plays a significant role in this process. He is a proud member of the Gleek mentor community, which offers a supportive environment where individuals can learn and grow together.
Inclusive cultures are built by knowing each team member, understanding their strengths and weaknesses, and recognizing how they can complement one another. David encourages companies to identify mentors within the organization and connect with them. Sharing knowledge and experiences within a mentorship network can be incredibly valuable.
David leaves us with some valuable insights.
- Self-awareness: Recognize and address personal inhibitions and fears, as they can hinder cognitive diversity.
- Mentorship: Seek guidance from mentors and actively participate in mentorship networks to foster personal growth and transformation.
- Corporate Success: Cognitive diversity is essential for success in the corporate world, helping teams connect with a wider audience and adapt to diverse customer needs.
- Diverse Thinkers: Embrace and recruit individuals with diverse perspectives to broaden horizons and discover new opportunities.
David has a powerful message to us: “If you’re not diverse, you will only ever get the customers who are like you.” The world is a diverse place, and businesses that embrace cognitive diversity will thrive by connecting with a broader range of customers and innovating in ways they never thought possible.
Cognitive diversity isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a powerful concept that can revolutionize businesses. By embracing diverse thinking, companies can tap into new markets, spark innovation, and build a stronger, more inclusive future.
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