The Power of Diversity

I have recently read the book “The Difference” by Scott Page. It is a book on how diversity can create better groups, firms, schools and societies. Similar to previous post, I would recommend you to buy the book and read it. I am not sure if the local bookstores have it as I got mine from Amazon.com

I shall list the learning points I gathered from the book below. However, these points may not be correct or may not be complete as it depends on my understanding from my first read of the book.

1) Diversity helps to solve difficult problems given certain assumptions. The assumptions are that the group of diversified people can coordinate well, the diverse group has different skills and the group must be smart.

2) Why diversity helps. Given that a smart person in a diverse group may get stuck at a sub-optimal solution to a difficult problem, another person in the diverse group may be able to start from the sub-optimal solution to get to a better solution using different skills and knowledge from the first person. In a diverse group, the more diversity there exist in the set of skills, the more likely the group solution can get to the best solution, given all other things remain constant.

3) How diversity comes. Different people have different perspective or viewpoints, different heuristics or rules-of-thumb, leading to different interpretation of events. The different perspective, heuristics and interpretations may then lead to different solutions to the same problem.

Read the book for more learning points.

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