On Wednesday, I will be traveling to Atlanta to give a speech on “Innovation and Diversity” to the American Institute for the Management of Diversity. Given the title and the group, you may think you know what I will be talking about but you would wrong.
The topic description is:
The key to unlocking the innovation potential in an organization is the ability to change perspective. By looking at problems and opportunities in a different way, we create the opportunity to discover solutions that create competitive advantage. One key to changing the perspective is to create innovation teams with the widest range of diversity including ethnicity, age, education, nationality, socioeconomic status, family structure and any other characteristic that defines us as individuals.
One area of diversity that has historically been overlooked is neuro-diversity – specifically the growing population of individuals diagnosed with autism. 1 out of every 110 children has autism. More children this year will be diagnosed with autism than AIDS, cancer and diabetes combined.
This community will become a growing portion of our future workforce.
Individuals with autism have a different perspective than the rest of us “neuro-typicals” and that difference can give a boost to an organizations innovation efforts. However, to take advantage of this resource, organizations need to recognize that traditional management and innovation approaches are insufficient.
Should be interesting …
For more information, visit Hacking Autism.