Common wisdom says that the more diverse a team is in terms of age, ethnicity, and gender, the more creative and productive they are likely to be. While this concept is not without merit, it is actually cognitive diversity that makes the real difference. 

How teams think about and engage with new, uncertain, complex situations -- in other words, how we perceive situations and process information -- can (and ideally should) vary widely for best results.

Organizations and leaders need to acquire, encourage and celebrate different modes of thinking among their teams.