Diversity = Productivity, a mathematical model

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“People from different backgrounds have varying ways of looking at problems, what I call tools. […] If we have people with diverse tools, they’ll get stuck in different places. One person can do their best, and then someone else can come in and improve on it. There’s a lot of empirical data to show that diverse cities are more productive, diverse boards of directors make better decisions, the most innovative companies are diverse.”
— Scott E. Page (2008) In Professor’s Model, Diversity = Productivity

Not a new finding, but the interesting bit is that Page developed a mathematical model, pointing out that even in mathematical terms, the above is proven valid.

A random group of intelligent problem solvers will outperform a group of the best problem solvers.
— Lu Hong & Scott E. Page (2004) Paper

Note also that this assumes that the individuals in the group are already working well together, so all the internal communication issues are sorted out, which is a precondition to any collaboration work. Another example on how soft-skills are a precondition often given as granted, while it’s often not the case.

Hat tip to Charlie Coates.