July 5, 2020
Why neurodivergent employees are the key to innovation
Innovation in the workplace; it’s something that has become a pedestal for companies and entrepreneurs alike to strive towards and something that many organizations try to weave into their day-to-day working lives. For many business owners, having a culture of innovation within their organization helps them to keep ahead of new trends in the industry, generate ground-breaking new ideas, and on a more grounded level, simply find better ways of doing things.
In order to create an innovative culture within your workplace, you need only look to your employees. Cast your mind back to when you first hired them and why you made this decision – the chances are, it was based on their skill set, experience or even their enthusiasm for bringing creative new ideas to the table. It’s your team who can help to fan the flames of an innovative culture – and you may just find that your neurodivergent employees hold the skills that can help innovation to thrive in your business.
What exactly is neurodiversity?
Neurodiversity is a term that isn’t commonly recognized, especially within the working world. However, it’s highly likely that you either know or have crossed paths with someone who is neurodivergent. So, what exactly is neurodiversity? In simple terms, it is the term used to describe differences in cognitive functioning that affect learning, thinking, attention and memory. Recognized types of neurological difference include dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and autism.
As these differences are commonly underestimated or pushed under the radar, unfortunately, neurodiversity is something that lacks significant awareness. However, it is estimated that around 1 in 7 people are neurodivergent. It’s therefore vital that neurodivergent employees feel they have the support from their team and employers to let their talents truly shine.
What makes neurodivergent employees the ideal innovators?
Common types of neurological differences, such as dyslexia, for example, mean that many neurodivergent people are visual learners. Rather than excelling their skills with spreadsheets and heavy documents of text, many instead find they process information more easily through images or visual thinking tools such as Mind Mapping.
Visual thinking is renowned for its ability to increase our creativity. Research cited by David Hyerle approximates that between 70% and 90% of the information received by the brain is through visual channels – which goes to show just how much visual stimuli impacts the way we think, create and generate new ideas.
As visual learning plays a leading role in how neurodivergent people process information, many of these individuals possess unique and arguably more honed talents in creativity and visual thinking. Creativity is at the heart of innovation – it’s our out-of-the-box ideas and new ways of approaching problems that sparks innovative practices. This, therefore, arguably makes neurodivergent employees the perfect people to help you drive innovation in your team and also help the creative ideas of those around them to flourish. Their unique approach to interpreting information allows them to view challenges from a different perspective; something which can become extremely powerful when looking to drive forward innovative ventures.
Looking for a tool to help the talents of your neurodivergent employees thrive? Ayoa’s powerful Mind Mapping features, combined with collaborative Task Management features, make it a dynamic tool for every member of your team to work together and drive innovation and productivity.