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An Essential Ingredient For Harnessing Collective Intelligence

“Diversity isn’t some optional add-on, it isn’t some icing on the cake.

Rather, it is the basic ingredient of collective intelligence.”

– Matthew Syed

A couple of weeks ago myself TLJ, Jane and Sam went to the theatre for the first time since before the pandemic began.

It was to see The Curious Case of The Dog In The Night-Time (TCCOTDITNT) at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin – Ireland’s home to a lot of visiting shows from London’s West End.

The show was superb from start to finish and was magical, moving and at times visually mesmerising. It had excellent acting, inspired story-telling and an incredible use of technology.

Much of the dialogue takes place inside the mind of the protagonist, a neurodiverse 15-year-old named Christopher who has autism.

The play is an adaptation of the book of the same name and when it first had a West End run, it won a record-breaking seven Laurence Olivier Awards during and then six Tony Awards.

Part of its success lies in the play’s dazzling aesthetic, which marries black box design, inventive hiding places incredibly dynamic choreography and out of this world lighting which reminded me of the movie Tron.

The story shines a very bright spotlight on how someone with autism experiences life and how people around them do too. It’s all done with sensitivity, harsh reality and humour.

The casting included two neuro-diverse actors in the lead role, a deaf actress and a transgender actress, Rebecca Root – all of whom, along with the complete cast, were superb.

It was a beautiful reminder that there really is nothing like a live experience where you are surrounded by others enjoying the same thing. The energy of a moment like that is incomparable with anything virtual.

But it also reminded me of something vital for us all to remember.

To navigate the future ahead of us successfully, we need to embrace diversity of thinking. Our own perspective is not enough to create the best we can.

When we do that in a collaborative way, as TCCOTGITNT shows, anything is possible.

Your challenge this week:

Where can you deliberately seek out diverse thinking?

Best,

Shane

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