The one-sentence summary

It is our differences and how we combine them that creates true diversity and generates innovation and fresh thinking.

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  • This is written by one of the original founders of Stonewall.
  • Good intentions are not enough – they can only get you so far, so real diversity is about change.
  • The complexities of diversity and inclusion need to meet practical solutions by creating alliances through difference.
  • Conflict is valuable when it is turned into something positive. We need to do something more than make gestures.
  • Diversity is the right thing to do, the representative thing to do, and the smart business thing to do.
  • Inclusion is not just about being nice to people. We need to celebrate difference, not similarity.
  • The essence of inclusion is that it must embrace reasonable disagreement.
  • It is a mistake to identify the goal in conflict as prevention, containment or resolution.
  • Diversity is not a minority sport – we need to be differently different.
  • Norms too often aren’t norms at all. Diversity has a contradictory problem with minorities because labels set up traps.
  • Unconscious bias is an excuse. Training in it lets everyone off.
  • Bias is damaging but it’s not a character flaw – it’s history. We have to design out the bias because it won’t happen on its own.
  • ‘Safe spaces’ damage diversity.
  • We need to do the work, not beat ourselves up. Employees need to be engaged to listen to each other and find solutions.
  • Complexity needs diversity and creating diversity doesn’t happen accidentally.
  • Diversity isn’t harder to manage – you only think it is.


  • It’s good business to be nosy – go on, find out the differences between you and others. What combination of difference enhances team performance? Who do you need to achieve the team’s goals?
  • 90% of corporate value statements reference ethical behaviour and use the word “integrity” but it doesn’t mean that they behave that way. Apply the reverse meaning test to these kinds of statements to see if they describe anything at all distinguishing.
  • Start from how it might be, not how ghastly it is.


  • The book is very detailed on issues that are often asserted simply enough before extra detail is added.
  • It takes a contrarian stance on the issue, which may not suit everyone.