Innovation is a strange beast. Most people say innovation is about new technology or bringing new things to the market. Some might think of better processes.
Schumpeter went further and defined it as “The introduction of new goods (…), new methods of production (…), the opening of new markets (…), the conquest of new sources of supply (…) and the carrying out of a new organization of any industry”. (Source: Innovation Zen)
Diversity in teams helps to overcome mental models that frame and impedes fresh thinking. The solving of a case study gives an interesting example who diversity helps.
I gave recently a lecture on business model innovation for managers of a large German corporation. During the session they had to prepare a case study on Bosch Power Tools.
Bosch Power Tools faced at the beginning of the Millennium a crisis. China entered the market, trade and no-brands gained markets share, Bosch’s share decreased, the market stagnated and the business was loss making. So the division faced the choice of ‘fix it, sell it, or close it‘.