Yesterday we ran a story about how Goldman Sachs’ plans to hire job candidates on the autism spectrum as a way to boost diversity. As it turns out, doing so could also boost productivity within the company. Because neurodiverse people are wired differently from “neurotypical” people, they may bring new perspectives to a company’s efforts to create or recognize the value.
At Hewlett Packard Enterprise, neurodiverse software testers observed that one client’s projects always seemed to go into crisis mode before launch. Intolerant of disorder, they strenuously questioned the company’s apparent acceptance of the chaos. This led the client company to realize that it had indeed become too tolerant of these crises and, with the help of the testers, to successfully redesign the launch process.
At SAP, a neurodiverse customer-support analyst spotted an opportunity to let customers help solve a common problem themselves; thousands of them subsequently used the resources he created.
The point is many people with neurological disorders have higher-than-average abilities; research shows that some conditions, including autism and dyslexia, can bestow special skills in pattern recognition, memory, or mathematics. And with the right accommodation, having neurodiverse employees can provide a competitive advantage for companies, rather than being a liability.