Matthew Syed on Rebel Ideas

Hi, I’m Matthew Syed and this is my new
book Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking. And one of the key themes of
the book is how we’re attracted to people who think like us. It makes us
feel smarter when people are mirroring our own perspectives. It validates our
worldview. The pleasure centres of our brain light up and so we tend to
gravitate to the like-minded. Which is fine when it’s a simple problem
but when it’s a complex problem, when we’re trying to innovate and come up
with new ideas, it’s much more powerful when we’re surrounded by people who
think differently and this is why diversity really matters. One of the
stories in the book is about Bletchley Park, the incredible team that cracked
the Enigma code, and it hired some great mathematicians like Alan Turing but also
Stanley Sedgwick, a lowly bank clerk who learned to play The Daily Telegraph
crossword on his daily commute who brought key insights to crack the naval
enigma. I talk about Derek Black who grew up as a white supremacist and is
now a campaigner for anti racism. My sense is that cognitive diversity,
differences in the way we think, is going to be a key source of competitive
advantage for the future. But it also helps us as individuals to
embrace our inner diversity, to become more creative and more imaginative.

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