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Why You Should Stop Surrounding Yourself With (Only) Likeminded People In the corporate world, it's all too easy to surround yourself with people who think just like you. One CEO offers strategies for fostering more cognitive diversity.

By Aytekin Tank Edited by Kara McIntyre

Key Takeaways

  • Companies that reflect diverse thought are more likely to realize financial success and foster deeper idea exploration — so branch out when it comes to who you keep in your inner circle.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of my sons has a colossal book of bedtime stories. Each night, we try to tackle a couple of them. I'm always amazed at how the takeaways of those children's tales remain relevant for grown-ups, including entrepreneurs.

Take The Emperor's New Clothes — the classic cautionary tale about the perils of groupthink. The adults are so eager to please the emperor that they stifle their opinions, even when the plain truth is as clear as day. It falls to an innocent child to offer a different, honest perspective.

I've seen similar situations in boardrooms, between colleagues and leaders. That's why with my company, Jotform, one of my goals is to continually foster diverse ways of thinking. Working with people who have different cognitive styles is key to boosting performance. But, as research shows, we tend to do the opposite. Instead, we team up with likeminded professionals.

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