Does diversity of teams impede or enhance excellence?


A question we have been frequently asked: Why should you invite people of different dicisplines, genders and cultures to become part of your team and contribute to solutions?
According to Lu Hong and Scott Page, a mathematician and economist, “group of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-abiltiy problem solvers” whenever 4 conditions are met:

  1. The problem has to be difficult
  2. All problem solvers are smart
  3. Some problem solvers can find an approximation / improvement
  4. A “reasonable size“ of problem solvers is involved
    “Given conditions 1 to 4, a randomly selected collection of problem solvers almost always outperforms
    a collection of the best individual problem solvers.”
    (Page Sc. E. (2007): Making the Difference: Applying a Logic of Diversity, Ac. of Man. Perspectives, see also for the mathematical theorem that explains the logic behind)

Diversity can of course also lead to misunderstandings and conflicts if not managed well. We gave first insights on how to improve performance at the HBP Summit. Presentation available at, see page 8-10 as well as 40ff).
We have started to summarise the most important tools and procedures for you.

What are youre collaboration experience with divers teams?
Are there any challenges we should address for you specifically? or any best practices you are willing to share?