How Does Diversity Affect Creativity?

As we leave Black History Month and enter Women’s History Month, it seems like a good time to talk about the contribution of diversity to creativity.


Diversity drives innovation in organizations and in education.

This might seem like a duh-worthy statement, yet we still have lots of room to improve on prioritizing diversity.

A homogenous group of individuals will be unlikely to create a disruptive or interesting innovation. When we collect teams of individuals with diversity of thought, experiences, skills, ethnicities, and even languages, they will generate more innovative solutions and solve problems in a more creative way.

Creativity demands unique perspectives, a beginner’s mind, and a shedding of pre-existing biases.

This month, I wanted to highlight some amazing women who are leading the creative space with their ideas and their thought leadership.

Women like …

Natalie Nixon

Author of The Creative Leap, triathlete in training with sick dance moves!

Van Lai-DuMone

TEDx Speaker (amazing talk on creative women!) and Serious Play Lego facilitator

Genein Letford

Author of Intercultural Creativity and Keynote Speaker, bringing creativity to the masses..

Sarah Elkins

A master storyteller, talented singer speaker, author and coach, uplifting your message through effective stories.

Leslie Ehm

Author of Swagger, speaker and coach, helps unleash your authentic potential.

Cyndi Burnett

Podcast co-host of Fueling Creativity in Education, sharing how to bring back that creative spark to schools.

Marysia Czarski

Podcast host of Igniting Creativity, passionate about sparking imagination and creative confidence.

Kimberly Macuare

Designer, facilitator at the Dali Museum to help others understand the role of creativity in innovation.

Holly Blondin

Based in Spain, and passionate about sharing creativity and innovation to global audiences.

Marie-France Mathieu

Accomplished conductor who shares her perspective on how you can engage your own creativity.

An everyday example of creativity is the story I share in my book, The Reluctant Creative, about Shannon Vander Meulen, who owns a local registry business in Calgary.

Shannon embodied creative principles to improve her business during the pandemic. She explored different areas of the city and researched different ethnic groups who might benefit from her services. Using her creativity, she discovered ways to connect with new customers and groups.

It’s not going to happen by happenstance, we need to actively reach out and discover diverse points of view, if we want to find new ideas to make the world a better place.

Or consider my backpacking trip through Asia.

I spent a lot of time on beaches. And there’s often vendors on the beach who would try to sell you little trinkets or food or drinks.

I remember a lady on the beach in Bali, who sold pineapples. I ate so many pineapples that my tongue and my lips blistered!

She had such a creative way of slicing up the pineapple so that you didn’t lose any of the juicy delicious meat. Instead of slicing it up into rounds like I was used to, she used the stem like a handle, then sliced the skin thinly. Finally, to remove the eyes, she used an almost poetic but rapid semi-circular swirl type motion with her knife.

The pineapple looked like a waterslide had gone around the outside. What a delicious and healthy lollipop. I took that idea home and I’ve been cutting pineapples like that ever since.

Travel is one of the best ways to amplify creativity. CEOs who live abroad drive more innovative results, and travel makes better managers.

And, if you can’t travel to improve creativity then start exploring your local area or the ubiquitous world wide web.

Try new food, visit a museum online, explore a city via google street view, make new friends.

People in intercultural relationships get a boost of creativity, thanks to exposure to new cultures and experiences.

So, while championing diversity is the right thing to do, it’s also the selfish thing to do if you want superior creative problem-solving skills for yourself or your organization!

In Other News…

Wellness That Works | Episode 24

CREATIVITY…does it make you feel uncomfortable?

You have creativity inside you. Dr. Brookfield has a fresh perspective to share when it comes to your creativity and one that will help you become more aware of how you are reacting to the idea.

Being uncomfortable can lead to growth. Lean In.

Creative Lifescaping with Shahzia Noorally

Diversity, Inclusion, Culture, and Creativity

Watch a past episode of Creative Lifescaping with Shahzia Noorally, a Diversity, Inclusion and Culture leader.

Shahzia is also the producer and host of The Colour Gap 

– a podcast that provides unconventional career strategy and advice for women of colour by women of colour.

Watch the episode

Giving Your People The Courage to Take Risks & Be Creative

Procrastinating cleaning the break room microwave?

Check out the LinkedIn Live I did with Marc Haine, where we discuss how to ignite creativity in your team!

Watch the replay

The Reluctant Creative

If you’re feeling creatively challenged, why not check out my book The Reluctant Creative?

It’s got 5 easy-peasy creative habits to help you step out of your comfort zone and add some sparkle to your life.

Check out the book