Author: Juliet Bourke

Print ISBN: 9781876604295
epub ISBN: 9781876604325

What can boards and executive teams do to innovate? How can they be more certain that significant risks have been identified? How do diverse teams create breakthrough ideas and make smarter decisions?

Drawing on rigorous academic and applied research, Juliet Bourke challenges mainstream assumptions about diversity of thinking, and provides practical ideas to help ensure teams see scenarios broadly, discuss options thoroughly and mitigate social, informational and attentional biases effectively.

This book is a must-read for any leader looking to increase their ability to create genuinely diverse thinking groups, engage in more productive conversations and make wiser judgements.

About the author

Juliet Bourke is a partner in Human Capital at Deloitte. With a unique background in law, psychology and business, she leads Deloitte Australia’s Diversity and Inclusion practice, and co-leads the Leadership practice. She lives between the worlds of academic research and consulting engagements, and brings the best of both to her thinking and practical advice. She is a prolific writer, a regular speaker at international conferences and advisor to executives and boards.


This is an excellent and much needed book. Juliet Bourke sets out to answer a major missing piece of the diversity debate so far - how do diverse teams create breakthrough ideas? She walks us through the answers step by step, making sure to leave no stone unturned. It is all very persuasive and itself a major breakthrough.
- Frans Johansson, author of “The Medici Effect”
Changing culture to build more inclusive workplaces is both essential and very difficult. Until now there have been no practical guides for leaders wanting to make a difference. This book changes that paradigm. Read it and prosper. I couldn’t put it down.
- Professor Scott E. Page, University of Michigan
The book is truly exceptional. Juliet manages to maintain an optimistic tone, emphasizing opportunity and also being serious about this -- none of this comes easy.
- Frans Johansson, author of “The Medici Effect”
Colliding clichés abound, ranging from “opposites attract” to “birds of a feather”, speaking to inconsistent social biases but Juliet Bourke shows us systematically how to identify when such mental traps undermine fairness and clearheaded decision making. Which Two Heads Are Better Than One? transcends scolding about prejudice to reveal how diverse perspectives can break the decision-making pathology of Groupthink. Excessive cohesion is actually the enemy of good teamwork and this book shows how diversity enhances constructive debate as well as enriches the portfolio of knowledge. Everyone from boards of directors to everyday work teams should snag this book!
- Professor Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, Yale School of Management
The topic of Diversity and Inclusion has been around for years. Juliet Bourke's book finally unlocks the secrets to making inclusion really happen, how to create diverse and inclusive teams, and how leaders can specifically behave to drive performance in an inclusive way.
- Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder, Bersin by Deloitte
Juliet, I want to congratulate you on the best research-based book on understanding cognitive diversity that I have ever read: the breadth of the research and the ability to synthesize the disparate sources of data into a fully and articulate framework of applied cognitive diversity. There are books that are purely academic, or science based, or mostly comprised of anecdotes and metaphors. But, this book takes the best of each approach and blends them into a most useful practical guide. This book is a game-changer!
- Bruce Stewart, Acting Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, “Responsible for Implementing the President’s Executive Order on Diversity and Inclusion Across the Federal government”

One of the most important roles for a non-executive director is to ensure that we are well equipped to make good decisions, both in terms of our individual contribution and that of the board and management team as a whole. Juliet's book, backed by significant and highly relevant research, challenges the status quo and brings into sharp focus the many facets of decisions.

It is clear that decision making is a dynamic process. We should constantly be asking ourselves, both individually and as a group, how we can ensure that we are armed with the best information and diversity of perspective. We should also be seeking to understand the impact of our own mental frameworks and the conscious or unconsciousness bias we bring, and how we might approach making the necessary adjustments or actively seek out the views of individuals with a different bias or mental framework. She suggests creating opportunities for self-reflection and calibration to facilitate this process.

Juliet’s research highlights the fact that racial, cultural and gender diversity can bring some compelling benefits, not only from the important contributions of those members of the group but also by triggering a higher level of attention and exploratory behaviours from the incumbent group. She introduces the diversity of approach process to ensure that a group can capture a range of views beyond just outcomes sought, options considered and risks involved but also including the evidence available, process involved and people needed.

An essential element for success is inclusive leadership, stewarded by the chair. Juliet promulgates six signature traits: commitment, courage, curiosity, cognisance of bias, cultural intelligence and collaboration.

Juliet's book is both thought provoking and an essential tool for directors seeking to make good decisions and ensure better overall governance.
- Melanie Willis, Independent Non-Executive Director