Michael Wallis
Founder / Creative Director
@11:00, 28.03.2024

Diversity is a driver of superior performance. It helps organisations see new audiences, solve problems and identify more opportunities.

I sometimes feel, when I’m in a client boardroom (a male-dominated mostly white middle-aged financial services or real estate boardroom, but not just), that diversity isn’t seen as a massive advantage to a business. It’s seen as something that needs to be acknowledged, dealt with, stuck on or ‘seen to be doing’ – a kind of corporate altruism. It isn’t. Diversity is a driver of superior performance. It helps organisations see new audiences, solve problems and identify more opportunities.

Want to know who your next BIG audience is?
It’s W I D OW $. Which if you think about it is obvious. Boomers are dying out this decade and leaving their money to their (60ish) children and women live longer. But it's not obvious to middle-aged men because it’s not what they want to think about or how they see the world.

An (Alpha male) investor client sent me this the other day (https://youtu.be/WwCWmggzXJs?si=TdaNOJZb7eLzD2Ag). It’s a really fascinating five minutes and an eye-opener for (male) me. I absolutely need to see articles like this to help me see the other 51% of the planet’s point of view. 

I was aware of the Great Wealth Transfer that’s happening this decade (Trillion$ passing from Boomers to the next generation). I was less aware of how much of it would be left to
W I D O W $. There are some very interesting insights into how this is going to impact corporate culture and consumer spending. Some points I needed to hear were around: 
• The misconceptions around women’s confidence with money and investing
• The female economy driving Taylor Swift, Barbie, Beyoncé
• Diversity inertia in (still male-dominated) corporate boardrooms 

I urge you to watch it. I also urge you to think about what you are not thinking about.

Diversity avoids problems and creates opportunities

If you need to quickly explain to an organisation the value of diversity, use this brilliant diagram (above) by Matthew Syed, from his book Rebel Ideas. 
1. Is the size of the problem and how much of it a smart individual can see
2. Illustrates how, if we surround ourselves with similar smart people (clones*) we still only see part of the problem
3. Illustrates how, if we surround ourselves with DIVERSE smart people we see all of the problem

Matthew Syed uses it in the context of how the CIA, by employing similar people, missed the 9/11 terror attacks. The size of the problem can of course be the size of the opportunity too. Hang it on the wall during a working meeting about the resources and talent you’ll need to hit your goals and spot problems. It never fails. *Homophily – the tendency for people to seek out or be attracted to those who are similar to themselves (beware)

Want to know who your next NEXT BIG audience is?

Have you got a Gen Alpha child? Born between roughly 2010 and the end of 2024, “Generation Alpha” is the demographic successor to Gen Z.” In the developed world, they are the first generation to be raised with a screen in their hand from the moment they could hold a screen in their hand. There are 2 Billion of them. And they are strange. Gen Alpha traits include:
• Going against the grain
• Screen addiction 
• Sephora serum obsession
• Beige 
• Illiteracy
• Influence
• Intelligence

Read this and get familiar with Gen Alpha because in ten years they’ll be calling the shots: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2024-03-22/generation-alpha-millennial-children

Epilogue: Lack of diversity nearly bankrupted me
A personal experience. In my early career, I was involved in a housebuilding start-up. To promote what we were doing, we decided to build a part of the home at a show. Halfway through the process, and past the point of no return financially, someone pointed out that we needed a disabled access ramp. At this point it meant another £30K which adjusted for inflation is billions. We had to install it - it was devastating financially. Lack of diversity cost me dear.