Diversity of thought and the search for best ideas

We look at how proper distilling and refining of ideas can affect how a company operates.

Feb 19, 2019 | Dr. Henning Stein, Anna Penn, Lindsay Hudson

A “best ideas” portfolio is traditionally one that consists of a comparatively small number of holdings that portfolio managers have identified as high-conviction opportunities. The necessary process is one of distillation and refinement: an initial array of hundreds or even thousands of ideas/holdings is whittled down until only the most promising remain.

Are we then able to also apply the same selection process to how a company is run? Might this degree of distillation and refinement characterise how a company operates in its entirety? Can everything be the product of best ideas?

In this paper, Invesco's Global Thought Leadership and Diversity & Inclusion teams delve deeper into the relationship between diversity as a whole, diversity of thought in particular and best ideas. We look at the dangers of hubris, groupthink and other familiar failings. We examine the inevitability of mistakes and the value of learning from them. We consider how great thinkers have sought to define and express the search for best ideas and how the most visionary and successful enterprises are benefiting themselves and their stakeholders by reflecting this accumulated wisdom. We also provide an insight into the workings and objectives of Invesco’s own “challenge culture”. Our aim is to explore the philosophy and science behind a decision-making method that in many ways smacks of common sense but which is nonetheless sadly lacking in myriad organisational settings.

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