This is an interesting book, advocating the creation of great, diverse teams that can yield great results in the modern-day knowledge economy. Diversity, in this context, is a lot more than ensuring a mix of ethnicities and cultures and treating everybody equal. That should be a given.

The author believes that getting a diverse mix within the workforce can give many benefits, both to individual companies and society-at-large. The so-called ‘Diversity Bonus’ is a term of the author which, he argues, comes about by using diverse teams to look at often-complex tasks that can solve problems, innovate and impact positively on results. All of this is due to the different way that people process information, challenges and experiences and output this within their work. A group of diverse people, therefore, may have a greater hive mind than a homogenous group of equals.

This should not be written off as some wishy-washy liberal thinking. The author digs into many scientific disciplines such as psychology, economics and computer science to formulate these views, backed up with his own real-world experience and research. It is a credible compilation of thoughts that sound obvious, when you consider it, but sometimes the obvious things can be overlooked, whether inadvertently or by design. It can be time for change and a book like this can either light the fuse for action or help validate and guide your work-so-far.

The result changes the way we think about diversity in the workplace—and far beyond it. A business case can be made for this change and this can be essential as seemingly everything must be justified today, as if just doing the right thing wasn’t enough on its own.

Unfortunately, the book feels to be a bit of a ‘slow burner’, requiring more attention and focus to what is an important subject. It was a little inaccessible and proved to be a bit too easy to dip out of – and this is a big risk when you are trying to advocate a possibly radical course of action. If you can persevere you may be rewarded, as the subject is worth it. A more direct approach to writing would have been more suitable and it need not have watered down the book’s content, authority or purpose.

The Diversity Bonus Book Cover The Diversity Bonus
Scott E. Page
Business & Economics
Princeton University Press
2017
264
9780691176888