Late last year, I was asked to give a speech in Atlanta to AIMD (American Institute for the Managing Diversity). Given the work with Hacking Autism, they also asked if my daughter could join. So for the first time, Tara and I made a joint appearance.
The speech was about the need to expand the definition of diversity to include neural diversity. Most of us are what is called “neural typical”. The challenge we are facing is how to include individuals in the workforce that are not neural typical, especially those on the autism spectrum (autism, Aspergers).
Innovation is about seeing opportunities that others don't see. Those on the autism spectrum see everything differently.
Given that 1 out of every 88 kids will be diagnosed with autism, what will be the impact on the future workforce? Those adults who have been diagnosed with Aspergers have a +70% unemployment rate.
So how does this impact innovation? Innovation is about seeing opportunities/problems that others don't see. Individuals on the autism spectrum see everything differently. I would argue that they could be the spark you need to create game-changing innovations. The challenge is the need to organize and manage them differently.
I believe that every organization should create a neurodiversity hiring program. The result is filling in the gaps in your teams with the innovation skills needed.
The rest of the videos are located here.
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