Just a few years ago, I would not have been able to articulate why organizational diversity matters. (I know that for a fact, because I once offered a barely adequate, fumbling answer during an interview. Despite somehow getting the job, I remained largely clueless for some time.)

Times change, I’ve learned some things, and now I’ll share one overly simplistic but perhaps helpful view.

If every organization needs to best-match a particular pattern to be successful…

…and the people in the organization have only homogeneous backgrounds, life experiences, identities, abilities, skills, and approaches…

…failure or harm is inevitable.

Use cases will be missed. Critical flaws will be overlooked. Real people will be implicitly designed against (or not designed for).

Diversity is one necessary component to improve how well an organization is able to match the success pattern at a point in time.

Lastly, diversity is necessary but not sufficient (don’t forget equity and inclusion).