Why diversity is crucial for innovation

The fundamental vision and mission of Agilyx, a world leader in chemical recycling of waste plastics, since its inception has been centered around innovations that transform the rapidly increasing volume of waste plastics from what has become a world-wide headache into a societal asset.

With the use of its innovative conversion technology, Agilyx has opened the doors for creating options for the waste plastic industry that were not commercially viable before. While innovation itself is becoming more crucial for the ongoing success of any organisation, it is, in fact, the ability to create possibilities that others have not seen or have not been able to bring to fruition that is the central reason for why we exist. Agilyx focuses on an entirely new plastic economy ecosystem that helps chemical recycling become a reality. As such, crafting and sustaining a culture of innovation is not some sort of “innovate or die” management-speak fad for Agilyx, but a strategic imperative.

Diversity is of vital importance in a culture of innovation. Challenging the status quo, thinking differently and drawing on various perspectives, requires a diverse team. The potential pool of workers and the ubiquitous nous of communication is increasingly diverse, so a non-diverse approach to hiring will make it progressively challenging to hire the staff needed to be successful. Younger generations expect to work in a diverse environment, so failure to embrace diversity will make it more arduous to hire and retain this valuable group of employees.

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Additionally, an organisation with global aspirations should not disregard the power of its customers. They come from various backgrounds, have a diverse set of beliefs, and have different histories. When a company employs a staff who understands multiple cultures, they will be a step ahead of companies that disregard how valuable it is.

Read: The impact of having a workforce that is representative of wider society

Research throughout the past decade has revealed a strong correlation between diversity, inclusion, and innovation. Highly divergent perspectives are a potential antidote to the blinders of groupthink. But what is also clear in the research is that merely having representation of different perspectives is not the same as fully involving those viewpoints in the dialogue. Having a varied workforce is, as noted before, a practical necessity. However, incorporating a diverse workforce in a company’s business model does not automatically lead to higher levels of innovation. If diversification is not strategically harnessed, meaning it is merely tolerated and celebrated, but not fully integrated into the organisation, a company won’t flourish. Customers, employees, and prospective clients can see right through it.

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Agilyx has enjoyed an excellent track record for innovation. As a small company, we have been constrained to bring on ample human resources, so we have had to bring in people that are motivated, talented, and driven. They wear multiple hats. We have carefully crafted diversity into our culture to include diversity of age, thought, and experiences. As we now start to grow and expand, the organisation will need to be very intentional around making diversity and inclusion a strategic lever.

As an organisation, we will not miss this chance to evolve our “culture of innovation,” and neither should you. If your organisation is experiencing growth as well, we encourage you look to hire personnel who bring diverse perspectives to the team based on both their inherent characteristics (gender, ethnicity, age, etc.) and their acquired diversity – characteristics gained through experiences that bring a variety of fresh thinking to an organisation. This also means continuously looking for effective ways to harness one’s innovative potential that adds to the already substantial innovative capability of an organisation.


Agilyx is an exciting place to be as we are trying to advance a vision and mission around the stewardship of waste plastics that has worldwide implications. We are not only advancing a conversion technology, but we are creating new partnerships, supply chains, and value propositions that are all elements of our recipe for sustainable success. To do that we need to rely on our most valuable asset, our human capital. We search for team members who share our vision and are energetic, willing to take risks, and exceedingly entrepreneurial. Our culture of experimentation and fast prototyping has allowed us to achieve things that even we were not sure was possible a couple years ago.

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details.

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