In the world of business and finance, to establish truly sustainable business models and lasting competitive advantage, diversity must be recognized as an economic imperative. Diversity can unleash the powerful forces of creativity, innovation, productivity and entrepreneurship.

Just in these past years, having seen crises ranging from the financial to the environmental to the geopolitical, the necessity of optimal risk management and collaboration toward lasting business solutions has become clear. Further, it is now obvious that the ability to drive true collaboration— with great respect for differences of perspective and diversity of thought, background and style—will arguably be the single most critical defining ability of leaders in the future.

A particular challenge in driving excellent collaboration is finding good metrics by which to measure it. In particular, in the often monolithic power structure of the financial services industry, where hard metrics are so critical in the processes whereby performance is measured, resourced, rewarded and promoted, good metrics are essential. Bad ones can be “gamed” and distort the true objectives a business is seeking.

New ways to measure excellence in collaborative behaviors must be considered. Only then can we tap into the potential for extraordinary outcomes derived through a diverse pool of talent. In a world of heightened uncertainty, where there are likely to be no sure outcomes and no perfect solutions, diversity is indeed an economic imperative for progress.