Driven by Difference: How Great Companies Fuel Innovation Through Diversity


pmwj45-Apr2016-Lin-BOOKBook Title: Driven by Difference: How Great Companies Fuel Innovation Through Diversity
Author: David Livermore, Ph.D.
Publisher: AMACOM
List Price:   $27.95 USD   
Format: Hardcover
Publication Date:   February 17, 2016    
ISBN: 0814436536
Reviewer:     Mei Lin        
Review Date: 02/2016




Should you read this book? Perhaps you already see yourself as open-minded to other cultures. You like sushi. You share stories about your children with your Indian coworker. You watch Chinese films with English subtitles. You are culturally sensitive. Case closed, right?

Wrong! This is not a book about sensitivity. This book is about the next step: capitalizing on diversity to drive innovation.

The book’s author, David Livermore, is indisputably an expert cultural intelligence and a pioneer in cultural strategy. He is President of the Cultural Intelligence Center and has trained leaders in over 100 countries on culture in the workplace.

His book can be summarized by this simple but powerful equation: “Diversity x Cultural Intelligence = Innovation.”(p. 2)

Overview of Book’s Structure

Chapter 1 is the sales pitch, defining what you will get from culturally intelligent innovation: Drive, Knowledge, Strategy, and Action. From there, the book is divided into two major sections.

In the first, David describes the five building blocks for an innovative environment: Attention, Perspective, Focus, Space, and Trust.

In the second section, he uses stories to illustrate his 5D process: Define, Dream, Decide, Design, and Deliver.


David notes that “Diversity by itself does not lead to better innovation.”(p. 19) Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is the multiplying force in a highly diverse workplace that drives greater results and innovative solutions.

Four Cultural Intelligence Capabilities (p. 20 and 21) are identified:


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About the Reviewer

Mei Lin, MBA, PMP

Taipei, Taiwan and Texas, USA


Taiwan - small flag


Mei Lin
received dual B.A. degrees in Law and in Social Work from National Taipei University and received her Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University – Commerce. She has PMP certification from Project Management Institute where she volunteers in the Dallas chapter. She has spent that last 10 years coordinating projects in small and startup businesses as well as large not-for-profit organizations.

She is an active member of Toastmasters International where she is an Area Director, supporting the education of 5 clubs and over 90 members. She is a member of the Demo Team, bringing communication and leadership skills to more than dozen new businesses/ communities. She has helped organize two District Conferences and several contests at the club, area, and division level. She has delivered more than 40 prepared speeches.

Mei is enthusiastic about the intersection of project management, team building, marketing, and technology.

Email address: [email protected]


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