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If you want innovation, bring on a diverse team

"If you want to create a really useful invention, make sure you have both women and men on your development team."

So leads Patenting the Co-Ed Code in Forbes Magazine last week. This article covers the recent study from National Center for Women & Information Technology, titled Who Invents IT?". The executive summary can be found here.

It seems obvious to say that diversity of thought is an important element in innovative work at all levels, but the NCWIT study gives us data to back up that intuitive claim. I always find this sort of thing very satisfying, because it does seem obvious, and it's the kind of research that people will often read and then say, "They needed a study to tell them that?" Of course, we all know that the things that seem obvious often aren't as we expect, but I sure would love to hear people talking about this in those terms.

"Well, duh, diverse teams of people come up with more innovative solutions and ideas. Only an idiot would think a team of people with the same background and experience could effectively think outside the box." Yes, I'd like to overhear that the next time I'm out for dinner.