Research - Leveraging Thought Diversity for Innovation

2006 - 2008


RTM Article, "Capitalizing on Thought Diversity for Innovation", Nov/Dec 2009


When you hear the term “diversity,” what characteristics do you think of?  Casting an effective team for innovation is more complex than organizing cultural, racial, and gender diversity – it’s about creating thought diversity.  Through interviews and surveys of innovation teams in IRI member companies, this Working Group (#06-2) explored this team diversity dynamic.  A model was formulated of how leadership roles and their distribution among team members contribute to the effects of thought diversity and team dynamics on innovation.  This work was supported in part by Rutgers University and the National Science Foundation.

- Help R&D teams maximize the positives and minimize the negatives of diversity
- Understand how active management of thought diversity can create a reliable source of innovation
- Identify best practices for leveraging thought diversity
Tom Tirpak (Motorola)
Raju Borwanker (Kraft) 
Subject Matter Experts
Emilio DeLia (Rutgers Univ)
Nancy Di Tomaso (Rutgers Univ)
Corinne Post (Pace Univ)
Susan Ward (Itecs)