Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – Beware of cloning
The importance of valuing and even celebrating diversity is now well established, but what is often not appreciated is that the process of ‘cloning’ can stand in its way. What this refers to is the tendency to feel more comfortable with people who are ‘like us’ (‘homophilia’ is the technical term), so, if we are not careful, we can find ourselves treading the same beaten path of relating to people similar to ourselves and thereby not getting the benefits of diversity and the enrichment it brings. For example, many businesses have suffered or even perished because they recruited ‘people like us’ and thereby developed a very narrow perspective that stood in the way of creative thinking, innovation and the ability to survive and thrive in a changing environment. Cloning is therefore the term used to refer to this unfortunate process of unwittingly excluding opportunities to capitalize on diversity.