10 Tools to Enhance Cognitive Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity is a popular buzzword in today’s business climate. It is an integral and sought-after component of a healthy workplace. But, unfortunately, in many cases, diversity is still being interpreted through an old and outdated lens. 

While more and more recruiters, creators, and marketers are focusing on demographic diversity–which is a good thing–far too many are still neglecting the equally important (if not more important) cognitive diversity.

What is cognitive diversity?

lonely mind

In the workplace, cognitive diversity is the inclusion of varied styles of processing information. This translates to a wider array of methods and approaches to innovation and problem-solving.

What are the benefits of cognitive diversity?

As new challenges emerge, new solutions are needed. A healthy and sustainable business must be able to adapt to the ever-changing climate of the market. As old solutions become outdated, so do old approaches and thought processes. By diversifying the ways we interpret and analyze data, we can more readily:

  • Avoid stagnation
  • Challenge and stimulate our collaborators
  • Increase productivity by encouraging team members to play to their strengths
  • Promote creativity
  • Strengthen teamwork by celebrating individuality

The list goes on, and the positive ripple effect created by including more diverse ways of thinking is without end.

Design Thinking Software and Collaborative Space Platforms

Put yourself in the mindset of the customer, understand or anticipate the problems and challenges from their perspective, create innovative solutions to prototype and test: this is the core function of design thinking.

Some of the more popular design thinking software programs on the market include:


Created specifically for remote design projects and workshops, Sprintbase boasts:

  • Intuitive, ready-to-use templates
  • Lots of easy-to-follow tutorials and training videos
  • Snap-to-grid design that allows for an easy alignment of content
  • An impressive roster of users such as eBay or CapGemini


Much like Sprintbase, MURAL uses a ‘whiteboard’ design that allows teams to work on projects simultaneously.

Billed as a ‘thinking Canvas’, MURAL helps organize your projects into:

  • Lists
  • Flowcharts
  • Frameworks
  • Drawings


The Digsite platform was created to enable agile teams to optimize their qualitative research. An interactive SmartDashboard facilitates the reporting of your research.

Some of the key features include:

  • Automated text analytics
  • Easy download straight into PowerPoint for reporting
  • Follow-up questions that are task-based, using images that allow survey respondents to ‘show why’ as opposed to ‘tell why’


Lucidspark is a simple, easy-to-use virtual online whiteboard that allows collaborators to work together on the same project in real-time. With intuitive features, such as:

  • Templates
  • Free-hand drawing capabilities
  • Sticky notes
  • Chats with @mention for quick feedback
  • Tags, labels and containers to help you organize according to criteria you set 

Lucidspark can be a good platform on which to hold virtual meetings. It comes with a screen-lock mode, a timer and a simple voting feature to help give your virtual meetings more structure.


Shape is a collaborative space platform that allows you and your collaborators to gather data from a variety of sources and give them a more workable and visually appealing organization.

Scalable, from small teams to globally distributed communities, Shape helps you take ideas from the brainstorming stage through development and into the testing and feedback stages. Assess and reassess your ideas as they move through the innovation pipeline. 

Cisco Cognitive Collaboration Solutions

If you’re looking for a more AI-enhanced virtual collaboration platform, Cisco has created one of the most powerful, if not the most popular.

Cisco’s voice intelligence solutions allow for:

  • A digital in-meeting assistant to help with notes, highlights, and follow-ups
  • The automated capture of trigger words
  • Real-time transcription and closed captioning for the hearing impaired
  • A time-saving key-word search that allows you to quickly find a specific point in the recording of your meeting

Additionally, Cisco Cognitive Collaboration Solutions offer customizable Webex rooms with AI and interactive capabilities.


Of course, a tool is only as good as the person wielding it. Getting the most out of cognitive diversity begins at the recruitment stage. Like a chef wanting to create a good dish, he or she needs to begin by choosing the best ingredients.

Whether you’re looking to onboard full-time staff or simply contract the services of a freelancer, you’ll most likely solicit help from top recruitment sites such as Toptal, Indeed, or Lensa.

However, one notable obstacle toward achieving cognitive diversity in the hiring process can be cognitive bias or an error in judgment based on preconceived notions. It is a natural normal function of the human condition, and you may not even be aware that you are committing this error.

Cognitive bias, or unconscious bias, is so prevalent in the recruitment process that many software developers and platform designers have created solutions to try and combat this problem.


Browmo is a sourcing and engagement platform that uses AI-based matching technology to help you find the talent you need without the interference of unwanted and unnoticed biases.

Based on your criteria, Browmo aims to match your job with the right applicant among their over 200 million candidates.

Candidate Assessment and Testing Tools

interview for jobIn a concerted effort to eliminate biases and help recruiters find the right candidate for the job, developers have tailored tools to go beyond the CV and explore the true potential of the job seeker.


Using a blend of behavioral science and audited AI technology, Pymetrics strives to ‘measure potential, not pedigree.’  They assess potential candidates with a series of task-based games, numerical and logical challenges and digital interviews.

They claim to be able to reduce the recruiters hiring time and hiring costs as well as increase recruitment satisfaction, all while eliminating many biases that stunt cognitive diversity in the workplace.

Self Management Group

SMG is one of the largest personality assessment companies, operating in over 40 countries and in more than 40 languages. They use a combination of screening tools, work-day simulations, and assessments to help recruiters take the guesswork out of the hiring process.

Final Remarks

shaking hands after interviewIt only makes sense that in order to satisfy the diversity of customers we are trying to reach, we should have an equal amount of diversity in our team of developers, marketers, and in our salesforce. But diversity means far more than a wide range of demographic representation. It should take into account, celebrate and exploit the different ways we process data and solve problems.

Tomorrow’s challenges won’t be met with yesterday’s methodologies. The above-mentioned tools can help achieve cognitive diversity in the workplace and, with it, bring diversity to innovation.  

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