Diverse teams are better. Here’s the math.

Getty Images
Getty Images

An invitation to the creative community.

When I saw this article on my Twitter feed, I did a double take. 

The article covers a report by Goldman Sachs that bears out the numbers that “all-women and mixed-gender” teams in the U.S. fund outperformed all-male management “so far this year.”  

I wasn’t surprised by the news, but rather that this story was seen as news at all. This indicates that the results were surprising or unexpected.  

But the math has already proven this out.  

Wait, math from a “creative?” Why not? Math is one of the most creative and beautiful art forms. Math dictates so many things in the world we experience. (Check out “The Elegant Universe”  if you want to dig into this concept.)  

Math is the truth, and the truth is beautiful — especially as it relates to the mathematical beauty of diverse teams. 

One leading MBA program that used mathematical modeling to look at team decision-making showed that teams that used the same approach to solving a problem were 50% less accurate than teams with divergent thinking.  

Another study using quantitative modeling proved that as teams grow, the lack of diverse thinking can magnify and lead to a 71% error rate.  

It doesn’t take a math genius to see the truth in these numbers.  

In our industry, diverse points of view and experiences lead to less obvious, more authentic ideas that connect with more people. We know this anecdotally, but isn’t it time our industry proves it? 

Creative award shows would be a good place to start. In our industry, award shows can launch and propel careers, improve salaries and earn attention. 

We already support fantastic organizations such as AdColor, which champions diversity and inclusion. But what if the larger creative awards community committed to quantifiable governing criteria, too?  

Creative award shows should reflect the diversity we want to promote. We can track data against this, holding ourselves accountable to the results, while proving the mathematical beauty of diverse teams.

As brands demand more from agencies, and consumers demand brands do more good in the world, our industry has a chance to lead the charge. We can create a world where the fact that diverse thinking leads to high performance is no longer seen as news.  

Because beauty and truth are one and the same – just look at the math.

Jason Musante is chief creative officer at Huge 

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