The Diversity Trap: How to make sure that being different makes a difference

I’m a huge believer in diversity[1]. Not only because I’m convinced that the universe is a better place when there’s a balance between sports cars and handbags, soccer and yoga, trousers and skirts, swords and flowers, skilful means and wisdom, and whatever other dualistic distinctions we might want to come up with[2]. But also because I’ve witnessed countless examples of discussions and decisions getting better when more perspectives are brought to the table, more critical questions are asked, and more counterintuitive suggestions are made[3].

Now, this is exactly where the problem starts

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On compliments, votes, and donations: When causes are bigger than choices

Life is a string of choices[1]. Some are very intentional, like selecting ice-cream flavours on a sunny day[2], some are relatively deliberate like picking a job, a mate, or a car[3], and for some, our rationales appear blurred and we ourselves doubt our influence on our decisions, so for lack of better explanations, we call it fate, destiny, karma, or science. Still, for most situations, most of us have figured out how to make our choices in ways that make us feel  consistent with who we think we are (or who we want to be)[4].

Today, I’m not going to talk about the seemingly “big” choices in life (or business)[5]. Instead, I want to talk about a particular kind of choice that presents itself the moment we deeply care about an ideal, a cause, or a principle.

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