They had great hair. They rocked the world, they got banned from Edmonton, Canada for hurling a television from a sixth-floor hotel window. But despite their hijinks, I’m not here to talk about the famous 80s Metal Band, Mötley Crüe. I’m talking about Diversity.
The term ‘motley crew’ is used to describe ‘a roughly organized assembly of characters of various backgrounds, appearance, and character’. And if you think back to almost every film about teams from The Great Escape to The Goonies, it’s often the motley-ness of a crew that helps it prevail.
The term ‘motley crew’ is used to describe ‘a roughly organized assembly of characters of various backgrounds, appearance, and character’.
The diverse set of skills, experiences, views of the world, knowledge, and connections help the motley crews out of scrapes, defeat their often uniform(ed) and unimaginative opponents and create ingenious solutions to complex challenges. (Usually involving zip-wires, in the case of The Goonies) So let me ask you a question. How motley is your crew?
How truly different are the people that you work with?
If your answer is ‘we’re basically a combination of The Goonies and The Great Escape’ then chances are you’re on the right track, but if you feel surrounded by people either from a similar background or who may be acting a certain way at work, because that’s what’s expected of them, then guess what? You might have an un-motley crew. A team that’s more uniform than it needs to be. A team that might be constrained by outdated stereotypes and notions of what’s ‘normal’. A team that once back at home, or out discovering new places, attending a grandchild’s play, or volunteering at a community shelter feel they can be themselves, but as soon as you put them in a workplace context, the motley-ness disappears. The uniformity creeps in, authenticity evaporates and the ability to innovate sails off into the sunset.
So next time you’re holding a meeting – take some time to think about your favourite motley crew. And if it is indeed the 80s Metal Band from Southern California, then go ahead and rock the boat.