Diversity's New Frontier: Diversity of Thought and the Future of the Workforce

Kelvin Womack

Kelvin Womack

Kelvin Womack is the Managing Principal of Diversity for the Deloitte US firms, as well as a senior Principal in Deloitte Consulting's Life Sciences and Health Care Provider practice. He is committed to the strategic development of people throughout the organization. He is also a passionate proponent of innovation as a core component of strategic planning and client service.

Mr. Womack joined Deloitte Consulting LLP in 2009 as a Federal Health sector Principal and served as its practice leader. For the past five years, he was responsible for a wide range of engagements focused on critical federal health issues including, health information technology, health reform, program integrity, and program and systems integration. He has served clients at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Office of the Secretary at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In addition, he helped federal health clients address their needs related to health reform legislation.

Mr. Womack also has a long-standing relationship with the Children's Inn at the National Institutes of Health. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and will take over the Chairmanship in October 2014.

Abstract

Up to now, diversity initiatives in the workplace have focused primarily on fairness for legally protected populations. But organizations now have the ability to harness a more powerful and nuanced kind of diversity: diversity of thought. A recent study by Deloitte titled "Diversity's new frontier: Diversity of thought and the future of the workforce" examines the benefits that thought diversity can bring to the federal government. In an age where government agencies are asked to do more with fewer resources, diverse thinkers can provide innovative and creative ways to tackle important issues.

Diversity of thought goes beyond the affirmation of equality. Instead, it focuses on realizing the full potential of people by acknowledging and appreciating the promise of each person's unique perspective and way of thinking. Diversity can only be achieved through inclusion, which means thinking differently about how the workforce is constructed and managed.

Diversity of thought can help an organization:

  • Guard against groupthink and expert overconfidence
  • Increase the scale of new insights
  • Identify the right employees who can best tackle their most pressing problem

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