CHAPTER 1

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: How We (Don’t) Talk About Difference

As individuals we can accomplish only so much. We’re limited in our abilities. Collectively, we face no such constraint. We possess incredible capacity to think differently. These differences can provide the seeds of innovation, progress, and understanding.

—SCOTT PAGE, THE DIFFERENCE

Two senior-level managers read through the performance evaluations for their team members, preparing for upcoming annual reviews and a rankings meeting. As they comb through the evaluations, they keep in mind a mid-level managerial spot that has recently opened up, scanning for top performers they might tap to fill the position. “What about Ursula?” asks one. “Her numbers are fantastic.” ...

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