Saturday, 31 August 2013


On a recent Institute of Director's blog post on Diversity, a member posted the following:

This is an interesting discussion and I agree with the need for diversity, but as a relatively inexperienced observer I really do wonder if diversity is really about the ethnicity, the gender, the occupation, or even the “best person” - whatever that may mean.

With due respect to all who have made so many interesting comments, it strikes me that the value of diversity is its capacity to widen the range of attributes available to strengthen board performance.

Unless I am completely mistaken on that point, the first step should be to identify all of the attributes that might make a useful difference, then identify those that are missing or insufficient, and then make appointments that make a difference regardless of gender, ethnicity occupation or "bestness".

What a great concept: "bestness"! I agree - our boards should contain our bestness. Ethnic, age, gender, orientation, role and thought diversity, if in an open and open-minded culture, should lead to creativity, innovation and bestness. 

Richard Branson has some great idea on how we go about creating this independence of thought at


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