Cultivate your diversity and make it useful (by Frode Hvaring)

Most of us work, play and communicate with people from many different places, age groups, family backgrounds, schools, jobs, etc.

Does this diversity make you curious? It should!

Curiosity is the first step towards accepting other people’s views, experiences, preferences etc. But it is not sufficient.

The issue at stake is in fact efficiency, not philanthropy nor well-meaning care.

In today’s world it’s getting impossible to find all the solutions by ourselves. We need other people’s input. And if these “other people” are too similar to us, we won’t solve the new problem with a new solution; we will still apply the old one.

So we need diversity in order to progress. We need the others to be different from ourselves in order to learn from them and improve. And, most importantly, we ourselves need to foster exchanges if we want to stay relevant to others.

The alternative is to repeat your own well-known patterns and avoid risk. Well, this will also reduce reward. Soon, by not leveraging your own diversity you will be out of business.

Being different keeps us relevant, if we can leverage that difference through mutually useful interaction…which keeps us in business!


Frode Hvaring is an international HR, culture and change leader who has held various human resources and advisory roles. Simultaneously, he is active in the Executive Education Advisory Council of the IMD and in the Committee of the IMD Geneva Alumni Association. Frode is currently finalizing a Doctorate on the subject of cultural intelligence, in a joint program between Grenoble’s École de Management and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa. He is fluent in eight languages (for the moment) and recently joined SIETAR Switzerland.

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