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Improving your diversity of thought

These team attributes 


diversity of thought

Mercer is convinced diverse teams are more likely to out perform, citing idea generation, avoiding group-think, reducing risk in portfolio construction, and how well a business is managed. 


The Mercer questionnaire for prospective asset managers, is a useful tool if you're looking to confirm or generate a culture open to diversity of thought. 

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harnesses the power of the team

in avoiding failure

Premortems can be employed to get ahead of start-up/scale-up failure, overcoming group think and avoidance of dissenting views, whilst maintaining group harmony and team bond. 

'The end results were a stronger plan and a more resilient team that was more aware of the challenges it was facing.'

Read more on McKinsey

For an Exec Summary,

see 'The Remedy'

short paragraph below

Mercer Questionnaire


Team make up

  • Does the team have a dominant leader, or is there a low level of challenge within the group, regardless of any surface-level diversity?

  • When a team is under pressure from poor performance or from client outlaws, is it more vulnerable to groupthink?

  • How does the team reach decisions, and how does it manage any mistakes it has made?

  • What is the team leader's attitude to diversity?

  • Is there an illusion of unanimity where, in reality, team members are hesitant or reluctant to disagree?

  • How does a team work through dissenting views?

  • Does any recent staff turnover tell us anything about team dynamics and the value placed on diversity?

  • Does the remuneration structure (team versus individual bonus) have any implications for how a team reacts to challenge or debate or the way the team manages dissenting views?


  • Does the manager have a formal diversity and inclusion policy?

  • Does the firm have mandatory unconscious bias training for staff?

  • Does the manager have a staff referral bonus system and, if so, does this help or hinder diversity?

  • What are the firm's recruitment practices?

  • Does the manager conduct open market searches for staff using a head hunter, or does the firm just call in people they already know to interview?

  • Which of these approaches is more likely to result in a diverse team?

  • How does the firm avoid unconscious bias during the interview process?

Why diversity of thought matters?

Diversity of thought techniques, enable diverse thoughts to be heard. 

Want to learn more about what we do?

Premortems: Being Smart at the Start

Conducting a Premortem can help teams anticipate project failure—and head it off at the pass.

The remedy


To ensure that projects get the scrutiny they need, teams should conduct a “premortem.”3 This is an exercise in which, after a project team is briefed on a proposed plan, its members purposefully imagine that the plan has failed. The exercise prompts everyone to review the plan and anticipate potential threats and hurdles. The very structure of a premortem makes it safe to identify problems. Under this approach, the psychology is flipped, and blind support for ideas gives way to creative problem solving. In fact, we’ve seen team members compete to see who can raise the most worrisome issues, and those team members are admired for their foresight, not ostracized.


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