Video production: Andrew Kennedy Lewis
Cognitive diversity, having different ways of thinking, can lead to cognitive friction. This allows you to explore solutions to problems through different perspectives. It is often uncomfortable, but that discomfort leads to growth.
Read the full transcript of Snow’s interview below:
Cognitive diversity is about having different ways of thinking. If you think about diversity meaning an array of things that are different, a lot of times in culture we’re meaning about external things, your skin color, your gender, your height, your age. Cognitive diversity is what’s inside your head, and a lot of those things do correlate to thinking differently. You’ve seen the world differently. The world has seen you differently.
Chances are you do think differently, but cognitive diversity is about perspective. It’s how you frame things that come in, how you take your observations and put them in your own internal language, and it’s about heuristics, which is how you approach solving problems. If you have a group of people who can do those things differently, you have cognitive diversity.
Cognitive friction is about when you take perspectives and heuristics from different people who think differently and have them do battle. It’s when you explore solutions to problems, you explore ideas or intellectual territory from different perspectives. That’s when there’s discomfort because you’re getting outside of your own way of thinking, but that discomfort leads to growth. Just like muscle building, just like other areas where you need to push further than you’ve gone before if you want to get better.