Your chances to innovate, create something new or solve a problem with multiple unknowns are higher when you have a diverse team. Such a team, that consist of individuals with various backgrounds, interests and cultures, given the right environment, will produce better ideas and solutions. But what if you don't need to innovate? What if you need to execute effectively?
Jonathan Haidt, in his brilliant book "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion", writes
Increase similarity, not diversity. To make a human hive, you want to make everyone feel like a family. So don’t call attention to racial and ethnic differences; make them less relevant by ramping up similarity and celebrating the group’s shared values and common identity. A great deal of research in social psychology shows that people are warmer and more trusting toward people who look like them, dress like them, talk like them, or even just share their first name or birthday.Why would we want to make our teams more like hives? For one, because a hive is ultra-effective. It could achieve much more, much quicker than a pack of diverse individuals. To quote Jonathan Haidt again
[hive-like-groups] generate more social capital—the bonds of trust that help employees get more work done at a lower cost than employees at other firms. Hivish employees work harder, have more fun, and are less likely to quit or to sue the company.In certain circumstances, a hive-like, homogeneous group might be more preferable to a diverse one. Let's see why a homogeneous team might be better for certain tasks and when you might need one.