We are all creatures of habit. We like consistency, sameness and regularity. The daily routine; same train; same people. It’s all about security.
Ironically though, buried within our DNA is a framework which delivers difference. We have evolved through generational differentiation; survival of the fittest with the sub-optimal, predecessor species dying out. Difference is an evolutionary mechanism which promotes survival.
As Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” And when the environment changes, either gradually or suddenly, the unsuitability of sameness becomes immediately apparent. Worst case, the species dies out.
Economies operate in similar ways to biological systems. Companies are a species, either dominant or subservient delivering value for the exchange of value, in order to perpetuate their DNA, or business model. Some are successful and some die out – they get the wrong answer or the environment changed when they least expected it.
Mutating your business model takes skill, but it’s all about becoming different: and ultimately about survival. In a world where people like sameness, embracing difference can be very hard.
We mix with the same people, we hire the same people, we like the security of sameness: but this is not good for our survival. If you are a company this leads to commoditisation; if you are a species you run the risk of not adapting when the world changes. Being different is good. Combining unique qualities and ways of thinking is good.
Here at Fujitsu, we strongly believe that combining the talents of employees and their diversity makes us stronger as an organisation, and we’re actively putting that belief into practice. Furthermore, we can see the positive results from creating a diverse workforce.
For example, since becoming a Disability Confident campaign partner we’ve set targets for recruitment agencies to put forward a more diverse range of candidates to mandate our passion about creating a fairer society for people with disabilities. We back this up by mandating that our recruitment partners report quarterly on the number of applicants with disabilities they have interviewed for roles with Fujitsu.
We have published a film about diversity and inclusion to encourage graduate applications from more applicants with disabilities. We have also been working hard to increase the number of women following a STEM career within Fujitsu, and have attracted more female applicants, seeing the proportion of successful female candidates increase from 25% in 2014 to 36% in 2015.
As a philosophy, diversity is a powerful principal that can transform teams, from sameness and being unable to adapt to conditions, to having a deeper understanding of the world around them. This understanding leads to a more agile, informed workforce that is far better placed to respond to change.
So – do your organisation a favour; hire someone different today and create an inclusive environment to foster unique ideas and perspectives. It could make all the difference.
He is a former Management Consultant, having spent five years at A. T. Kearney, advising and leading on IT Outsourcing and operational efficiency solutions across a broad range of sectors.
He is a graduate of Manchester University, Electronics and Electrical Engineering, FIET, holds a Dip. Law from City University and completed his Bar Finals in 1995. He is the former Chair of the City of London Citizen's Advice Bureau and Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.
He is married, with one son, and lives in Islington. Outside of work, his interests include music, and writing screenplays.