Leonardo Da Vinci: All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.
How can we gather a breadth of perception to solve our most challenging problems at work? What can we learn from the Netflix $1 million prize and the Lehman Brothers collapse?
Between 2006 and 2009, Netflix ran a $1 million prize competition for teams to improve its movie recommendation algorithm by 10% or more. For the first two years progress was slow, until teams around the world starting combining their very different approaches together. The eventual first and second place teams reached the 10% goal by incorporating ideas that, on their own, seemed radically far from accepted mainstream wisdom. One team used an algorithm that took account of the fact that people rate movies they saw a long time ago differently to how they rate them if they saw the movie recently. Another team discovered that users rate films differently on Fridays, Sundays or Mondays. Individually, those approaches were terrible at predicting which movie a user might want to rent next, but when combined with other standard measures they gave their teams the winning edge.
There are many different ways of looking at diversity:
All these measures of diversity - gender, race, personality type, team role, job title, nationality - are really proxies for the most valuable type of diversity, diversity of thought. It is diversity of thought that will help your company to create new products, services or solutions, ahead of your competitors.
So how can you create a diverse team?
Here at Da Vinci’s Workshop Ltd we have more than ten year’s experience helping companies to understand how to broaden their recruitment and retention processes, how to form and nurture diverse teams and how to encourage innovative thinking.
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