Diversity is one of the greatest strengths any team can have. You might think it causes conflicts, and you'd be right. Teams drawn from varied backgrounds can encounter conflict, but that's only to be expected and it can be managed. Unfamiliarity with different cultures, differing values and opinions, creative differences – all these can play a part in conflicts. But they're also fuel to the fire of innovation.
Organise a group of people who share the same views in a meeting and you get stagnation. That difference of opinion which can cause conflict can also spark creativity and drive, and means your business grows faster. Differences of opinion are constructive rather than destructive. People bring different thought processes and ideas to the debate, and that can often mean other people opening up to new ways of thinking. Bouncing ideas off one another and fusing those ideas is the only way to make positive progress.
The best team leaders are able to structure debates, to get the most from their diverse, multi-cultural team. Acknowledging differences is crucial. People cannot be swept into a one size fits all package, but those differences are what brings value. Difference is a strength and 'constructive conflict' should be seen as a good thing.
Globalisation means that multi-cultural teams are almost certainly the future of every organisation. Working out how to manage difference in the workplace is becoming more important, but it should be embraced. Companies who employ people cut from the same cloth risk standing still, not developing new ideas. It's only through diversity that you achieve creativity and progress of thought.
You need a diverse range of opinions and ideas
Conflict can lead to creative thinking
There is no 'one size fits all' in business