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Abstract

Having spent the past five years working with the boards of some of the world's leading organizations, the authors reached a conclusion: boards need to become much more diverse - not just demographically, but also in terms of the backgrounds, competencies and interests of their members. However, they warn that putting fresh faces onto boards provides no guarantee that benefits will ensue: diversity can also lead to gridlock. The fact is, people often feel threatened or annoyed by colleagues who are very different from themselves and have difficulty accepting, much less appreciating, those colleagues. In this article they describe the costs and benefits of diversity and provide seven recommendations for effectively diversifying boards - or senior teams - in any industry.

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Abstract

Having spent the past five years working with the boards of some of the world's leading organizations, the authors reached a conclusion: boards need to become much more diverse - not just demographically, but also in terms of the backgrounds, competencies and interests of their members. However, they warn that putting fresh faces onto boards provides no guarantee that benefits will ensue: diversity can also lead to gridlock. The fact is, people often feel threatened or annoyed by colleagues who are very different from themselves and have difficulty accepting, much less appreciating, those colleagues. In this article they describe the costs and benefits of diversity and provide seven recommendations for effectively diversifying boards - or senior teams - in any industry.

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