Bold Business Logo

Thought Diversity is Sought Diversity

Diversity and inclusion are buzzwords in the business world today. Companies seek diversity for a number of reasons. These might include a commitment to corporate values, a need to comply with employment laws or to enhance performance. But many businesses have a limited view of diversity related to gender, race, and ethnicity. Thought diversity is the most important aspect of diversity. While other aspects of diversity demand attention, actual differences in ideas may be most valuable diversity asset. For this reason, thought diversity is quickly becoming the most sought-after features of the corporate culture.

Defining What Thought Diversity Is and Isn’t

Perhaps Malcom Forbes best defined thought diversity. He described thought diversity as “the art of thinking independently, together.” However, embracing this can be more challenging that you might think. For decades, firms have sought to achieve decision-making through consensus. After all, this is the democratic way. But as it turns out, consensus models do little to foster creativity, innovation and unique problem-solving. In fact, consensus models interfere with efficiency and key insights. A business can have dozens of employees from all walks of life. They are, however, doomed in today’s marketplace if they insist on consensus, agreement, and excessive structure.

Telltale Signs That Your Business Lacks Thought Diversity

Sometimes, it can difficult to appreciate a lack of thought diversity. Complacency can sneak in, and before you know it, no one is expressing any contrary opinions. Several red flags can help you determine if your business suffers from a lack of thought diversity or not.

"<yoastmark

  • Employee Parallelism – Does your work environment look like a tetras maze filled with cubicles and divider walls? Do project teams even have individualized assignments that are pasted together for project completion? If so, then varied ideas and perspectives are likely to be absent. Poor interaction and a lack of collaborative environments are less likely to have thought diversity. Different views are not always expressed even if they do.
  • Groupthink Rules – Groupthink is a common problem, especially among firms that seek consensus and among leaders who want control. As a result, groupthink moves firms to the least common denominator of innovation and creativity. If everyone tends to agree with decisions and solutions, then thought diversity has little chance to impact outcomes.
  • Expert Overconfidence – When your firm has a problem, do the same “experts” keep coming up with the solutions? This may be a leader, manager or simply someone with expertise. If this is the case, overconfidence in the expert’s decision can undermine thought diversity and creativity.
  • Conflicts Are Rare – Is your work culture like being in Mr. Roger’s neighborhood? Are disagreements tolerated or quickly resolved to avoid uncomfortable feelings? Conflicts are clear indications that thought diversity exists. Of course, constructive management of conflicts and disagreements are needed to maximize productivity. However, a lack of conflict certainly is a bad sign that thought diversity is suppressed or absent.
  • Risks and Vulnerabilities Are Bad Things – Businesses that avoid risks at all costs and perceive vulnerability as a weakness tends to be very uniform in nature. Firms with thought diversity, in contrast, invite risk-taking within reason and see vulnerabilities as opportunities. Which one is your business?
  • Overemphasis on the Positives – The best time to express thought diversity is when a problem arises. Sometimes, however, firms tend to avoid thinking about the problems and focus on successes. If attention is always on inspirational achievements rather than targeting areas for improvement, then thought diversity is likely lacking.

Strategies for Your Business

Recognizing that thought diversity is insufficient in your business is a necessary first step. But once this is realized, firms can take a number of steps to promote thought diversity over time. The following are some important tasks many firms have used to achieve diversity and inclusion success.

cartoon on quality thoughts and ideas

  1. Out-of-the-box Hiring – Consider hiring more unconventional employees into your firm
  2. Know Team Members – Get to know your staff, their unique talents, and their individual approaches to tasks
  3. Ask Uncomfortable Questions – Instead of asking “What do you think?” questions, ask things like “What part do you like least?”
  4. Adopt Reverse Mentoring – Take opportunities to have younger and less experienced staff mentor older and more experienced staffs in their techniques and approaches
  5. Create an Open Culture – Promote and honor values like respect, trust and acceptance while encouraging dialogue, participation, and opinions
  6. Invite Disagreements – The first few answers to a solution should not satisfy you. Dig deeper, invite conflict of ideas, and promote active conversation about pros and cons
  7. Revamp Performance Rewards – Consider rewarding teams for performance instead of individuals to encourage exchange of ideas and opinions

Final Words about Business and Diversity Needs

Having diversity in numbers is not enough for modern businesses. Firms of tomorrow will embrace diversity in multiple aspects. This includes thought diversity, which might be the most important diversity element of them all. Businesses that appreciate this simple fact will be much more likely to excel. Therefore, seeking thought diversity is highly important for firms today.

Lab-Grown Meats May be Available in the Market Soon

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now eyeing to regulate lab-grown meats. This new form of meat may be the answer to society’s problem of feeding the growing 7.6 billion world population. So what are lab-grown meats exactly? The sound of it might not be too appetizing, but this meat artificially grown inside the laboratory is an eco-friendly alternative. It just might find its way to your table sooner than you expect.

Lab-grown meats are animal cells harvested and then developed in the lab to reproduce. Initially, the lab cost of production was too high to bring it to the mass market. In 2013, Mark Post, a researcher at the University of Maastricht, launched a 5-ounce lab-cultured burger. It had an exorbitant price tag of $325,000. The burger was sponsored by the co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin. Now the price has reportedly dropped to $11 per kilo, and Post has continuously been working on making lab-grown meats available in the market through Mosa Meat. According to him, investors are surprisingly pouring in so they never had to struggle with private funding.

meat in a test tube and a burger
Burger from lab-grown meats now down to $11 from $325. Any takers?

On the other hand, Jerusalem-based biotechnology company, Future Meat Technologies, and food tech company, Memphis Meats, have also caught the eye of several big investors like food giants Cargill Inc., and Tyson Foods Inc. Billionaires Richard Branson and Bill Gates have thrown their hats in as well.

Lab-Grown Meat, Artificial Meat or Clean Meat?

So what is it about cultured meat that’s making it palatable to investors? For one, there has been a massive concern for animal welfare. Second, meat-eating is hurting the environment in many ways. It takes liters of water and kilos of grain just to produce one kilo of meat. Eliminating both through lab-grown meats is a breakthrough in sustainable food production.

The US FDA is taking an interest in these companies. They aim to get some input from the industry regarding the safety of the technology for lab-grown meats. They are also considering a name and label for the product. This will help consumers know that the meat they are buying came from a lab and not an actual cow.

There is also an ongoing debate on whether the regulating process should fall on the FDA or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb stated that the FDA would share their initial thoughts on how to appropriate the current tools and regulations to apply for this new technology.

Up to this point, there are still a lot of arguments about whether it’s right to call lab-grown meats “meats” since they are essentially made up of tissues. Former president of the American Meat Science Association, Rhonda Miller, posits that there is is not enough information on cultured tissue and so it should not be called meat. She prefers calling it “cultured tissue” as she did during her presentation during a public meeting assembled by the FDA.

A New Label to Market Lab-Grown Meat

Proper labeling is important as it ensures that the consumer knows what they are buying and eating. In 2015, the FDA ruled that Hampton Creek should not market its vegan-friendly dressing as mayonnaise because it does not contain any eggs.  The brand became known under the label “Just Mayo”. The company also had to make the “egg-free” disclaimer more visible in its label.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association also filed a petition to the USDA regarding lab-grown meats. They argue that only traditionally raised and slaughtered animals should bear the Meat or beef label. This would also mean that the companies who produce alternative meats such as Impossible Foods Inc., and Beyond Meat would have to find a new name to call and market their products as their meat source comes from plant-based cells or those grown in a laboratory.

‘Lab-Grown Meats — Answer to Feeding the Growing Population?’ Cartoon

a cartoon of a man being served lab-grown meats by a male scientist just outside a laboratory's door where there is a female scientist calling out to them
Lab-grown meats may be available in markets soon. Is this new form of meat society’s solution to feeding the growing 7.6 billion world population?

Interior Design Programs Constructing the Future of Smart Home Technology

Few could have predicted that we would ever use smartphones to design and maintain our homes in 2018. However, the arrival of the Internet of Things and smart technology in interior design means that anyone with a smartphone capable of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) – plus the right interior design programs – has that ability in the palm of their hand.

Artificial Intelligence in Interior Design Programs

When artificial intelligence (AI) invaded smartphone technology a few years ago, it was mostly in the form of games. First AI and AR applications found their way into Snapchat filters and iPhone X Animojis. Now, there are now more practical applications of AR in home design, and they are significantly changing the home improvement and furniture industries.

For example, free phone apps such as MeasureKit and EasyMeasure use AR to locate and measure an item, enabling users to measure distances, floor areas, curved objects, angles, and visualize through cube- and leveling tools. There is no longer a need for rulers, tape measures, and papers and pens to note measurements. Now, dimensions can be measured just by moving a smartphone around using smart technology in interior design.

You as Your Own Interior Designer

Other interior design programs take AI a step further. PLNAR, from Smart Picture Technologies, is a dedicated application for amateurs and professionals. Using Apple’s ARKit, PLNAR makes home renovations easier by using real-time automated measurements to take pictures of rooms and generate detailed floor plans. Data and 3D renderings are inputted into the cloud so you can check and alter them anytime, anywhere. These models can be imported into any 3D design tools. It is a fully digitized process that saves people time, money, and effort in preparing their home projects.

Said Andy Greff, CEO of Smart Picture (PLNAR) exclusively at the Dreamit Urban Tech Summit: “The bold idea here is that we’re putting the power in that homeowner-, in that renter-, in that DIYer’s hands so that can actually generate all the information they need in the form of a room plan, in the form of a floor plan, in the form of a 3-D model just using the wave of their phone.”

PLNAR empowers homeowners in generating important information required in designing spaces by leveraging AR themselves. The app is also a valuable tool for insurance claims, and for reaching out to a wider range of contractors.

Visualization of Products and Spaces Using Interior Design Programs

Another company, Marxent, uses AR and VR to turn anyone into a designer by allowing them to personalize and visualize products and spaces.

Said Beck Besecker, CEO and co-founder of Marxent exclusively at the Synapse Summit: “We’ve created a platform and set of tools that allow consumers to design a space very, very quickly and efficiently… and at the same time, visit a retail store, put on a headset, and be able to see their living room at full scale.”

Instead of physically pulling up furniture to see if it goes well with a room, you can pull up a three-dimensional representation in the virtual replica of your room. A customer can go to the furniture store, use Marxent VR, replicate their living room, and fill it with furniture. This lets people make informed purchasing decisions, and cuts expenses down significantly. It also scales down time spent on designing from hours and days to approximately 20 minutes. Marxent’s use of smart technology in interior design offers greater operational efficiency for everyone executing various home design projects.

Other Smart Home Tech

In addition to these interior design programs, . Security devices such as Nest’s Hello is a smart doorbell that has a built-in HD video camera and microphone. It lets homeowners check who is at their door – even if they are far from home – by livestreaming to their phone. It has facial recognition capability, and functions like a webcam. This allows the user to feel more secure about people approaching their home. Clearly, AI will play a big role in security. Video surveillance is coming to the market that is able to detect faces and differentiate from strangers and animals. Through this, the automation of threat detection, the system will alert homeowners of any suspicious activity only when necessary.

Inevitably, Smart devices will become more integrated, and cross-compatible, sothere will be less platform lock-ins. Soon, when you call for Alexa in your Amazon Echo to play music, your iPhone could play songs from your Spotify. There will also be central-mobile switches that can turn on your Samsung curved TV, Drift Lights, air conditioning, garage door… even vacuums and lawn mowers. Perhaps there will be platforms that will accommodate different brands, and will comprehensively connect to run a house.

Home tech will also likely be able to gather data from homeowners and businesses, creating a smart community or smart city. For example, a household may have its refrigerator automatically order food for them.

The Future is Now for Smart Technology in Interior Design

Smart technology in interior design and home management are no longer a vision of the future. They are now part of our present, and are creating bold impacts on the way we live. There are countless applications of smart tech in our everyday lives. These will only be more prevalent and integrated in the coming years.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/01/12/14-predictions-for-the-future-of-smart-home-technology/

https://www.housebeautiful.com/shopping/home-gadgets/tips/g2050/smart-home-technology

https://pro.plnar.co/