Neurodiversity and Innovation | So Good News
The goal of neuroinclusion is that people with minority neurotypes—ADHD, autistics, dyslexics, dyspraxics, and tics—are often said to be more likely to be innovative and creative at work. Let’s break this down and look at the process of innovation: identifying a need, making serendipitous connections, and focusing on knowledge and results and outcomes.
Determining the need
Need is the mother of invention, and neurodivergent people have more points of need than our neurotypical cousins. While the general public may find something a bit uncomfortable or annoying, it stops us in our tracks and we can’t get over it. Because of this, we are putting a lot of resources into addressing the needs! Some typical neurodivergent needs include needs related to planning, organizing, and managing time. It’s no wonder IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad is neurodivergent.
Divergent thinking is divergent! The most famous of neurodivergent people is seeing connections that others do not see, feeling communication in a higher category of analysis, unclear hearing patterns. Satoshi Tajiri, autistic and creator of the wildly successful Pokemon games and merchandise line, linked his childhood interest in bugs and creepy crawlies to his other interest in video games.
Education and focus
Psychologist and management scientist Peter Drucker is known to say: “Innovation requires knowledge, ingenuity and, above all, focus.” Some neurodivergent people are known for their lack of attention span, but in fact, it is this profile that typically experiences bursts of hyper-focused attention. This highly focused attention can lead to continuing the chain of interest to develop greater knowledge and exceptional finishing power. Only then should we rest.
According to human-environment
The difference that makes the difference is the context. This kind of creativity is not isolated from the environment, and some environments are more conducive than others. There is no one best fit and there is individual variability for everyone. Some neurodivergents take longer to come up with their most profound innovations, while others work better with our backs against the wall. In this respect we are no different from other members of staff, you need to think about the specific needs of your environment and tailor it to your individual job role. The psychological theory of “person-environment fit,” which suggests that higher performance occurs when there is a good fit between person and environment, applies to both neurodivergent thinkers and neurotypicals. This important part of the selection process cannot be bypassed by the idea of a standard, identifiably neurodivergent personality.
Innovation is against human value
Neurodiversity at work is sometimes given the guise of innovation, when in reality, neurodivergent people are diverse and diverse themselves. First, innovation can be simple – a new lunch storage scheme, for example – and second, even without innovative giant steps, neurodivergent people remain a part of our society and deserve to be included. Morally, legally, it’s our responsibility to make sure our workspaces look like communities, and we shouldn’t rely on commercial carrots to do the right thing.