Hire for Diversity of All Kinds

I read a bunch of blogs, and Evolving Excellence is consistently good. I was struck by this post, Homozygosity – That's The Problem!. I had never heard of homozygosity before, so I looked it up. According to Merriam-Webster, it's

having the two genes at corresponding loci on homologous chromosomes identical for one or more loci

The result: you get enough people (in this case) who think alike and get them to work together,  they inbreed their thinking. That leads to

There is an old saying that ‘great minds think alike'.  Probably, but I've noticed that morons think alike too.

I laughed out loud at that one.

But Bill is right. It's too easy if you have insufficient diversity to achieve group-think without meaning to. If you're hiring for problem-solving skills, which is what we do in high tech, you want diversity of all kinds: personality, schooling, race, culture, to name just a few. Insufficient diversity leads to an inability to generate other and different solutions.

Think about what diversity might mean for your group and how you can find it.

3 Replies to “Hire for Diversity of All Kinds”

  1. Most programmers I know were science or engineering majors, myself included. I’d like to hire a few English or journalism majors who taught themselves how to program. It’s like pulling teeth to get most programmers to write English prose. Presumably someone who willingly wrote paragraphs before learning to program would still do so after learning to program.

    1. John, I hate to tell you this, but English majors do not learn to *write*. They learn to read and comment. (Yes, I have a BA in English, as well as a BS in CS, and I had to learn to write well when I became a consultant. I’m still learning 🙂

  2. Yes, thank you. Diversity “of all kinds.”

    For ever in the Federal government “diversity” meant only gender and race (still does mean only that). Other types of diversity are not acknowledged – at least not out loud as that would make you sound racist and sexist.

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