“It is a little known fact that people in the U.K. tend to keep their ketchup in the cupboard. People in the States tend to keep it in the fridge. I know what you are thinking – ‘not me’ (it is a generalisation) and more importantly ‘so what?’ …
The ‘so what’ comes down to the way we tackle problems. If you are in the U.S. and you run out of ketchup you will reach for the next available alternative – say mustard or mayonnaise. In the U.K. the alternative might well be vinegar or pickles.
We use our frame of reference when we solve problems.
So if you place an American and a Brit into the same ketchup crisis you will increase your chances of finding an acceptable solution.
Diversity is a powerful way to solve problems:
… If you are getting nowhere solving your problem then find somebody with a more diverse perspective.
There is a downside
Whilst diversity may well result in a better solution it is likely to take longer. It is also more painful getting there. When we are working with people who see the world the same way as we do, it is easier, we come too far speedier solutions (though maybe not as creative).
If you have ever tried to explain to an American why we put vinegar on our chips (fries) you will know exactly what I mean.”