In this current climate, business strategies, goals and methods are changing at a rapid pace. The best way to stay competitive is for teams to remain adaptive and innovative.

But how can employers boost team performance? Research by The Harvard Business Review (HBR) reveals surprising results.

Building Diverse Teams of High Performance

Of course, you can hire talented individuals who are high performers. However, data indicates that high-performing teams produce much better results than individuals can.

Further, high-performing teams are not simply composed of high-performing individuals. Data shows that teams of diverse people — from different backgrounds, cultures and genders — are more innovative and productive. Although more homogeneous teams feel more comfortable and confident in their results, diverse teams produce objectively better outcomes.

So, how can you get people who are so different from each other to work together?

The Diversity/Performance Paradox

Although diverse teams demonstrate more success than homogenous teams, these groups can be more difficult to create and sustain. After all, humans are “hard-wired” to be tribalistic, to work with people who are familiar to them.

But when we break out of our comfort zones, we can produce amazing results. And this is the secret to unifying diverse teams: Shared values.

If a team can unite around a common, highly-valued goal, all members of the group can use their diverse perspectives to further the team’s objectives. The task for a company or team leader is, thus, identifying those shared values.

Finding Shared Values

Now we know that the factor that helps to unify diverse, innovative, successful teams is finding shared values. While these values can pertain to a business or team goal, the most impactful values are those regarding “high-level” principles.

Examples of high-level unifying goals could include those of Apple: Early in the company, their high-level goal was to unite design and technology. Now, they are committed to user privacy.

No matter the weight of the goal, finding shared values is key to uniting a team of diverse individuals. If you are seeking to identify your high-level values, create diverse teams, or unite diverse teams but are not sure how, we can help.

Next Steps

We at Boston Business Growth are committed to helping companies thrive. And the success of a thriving company is built by thriving teams. To get started on creating or amplifying your shared values, contact us.