Dyslexia and Work

A couple of years ago a boss of mine pointed out that dyslexia is just another word for laziness. In some ways he is right, it is often perceived as being lazy. His argument was that he had overcome dyslexia by working hard. For some milder cases this is very possible. How can people live with dyslexia and what can companies do to help, or more importantly how do individuals help themselves.

A very good example of dealing with dyslexia  is demonstrated by Richard Branson. He suffers from not just word dyslexia but also number dyslexia. To quote Mr Branson. ‘Nothing is impossible if you surround yourself with the right people’. This was his solution to the problem.  What I think is very interesting in this story. Is that he is probably the biggest Marketing asset Virgin have. In my view, while Richard Branson might not be the world’s number one speller he has quite clearly other qualities. In the present business atmosphere we tend to look very much towards written qualifications. Which means that a lot companies have very little diversity.

Why is diversity important? Diversity is strength. This is best explained in the following situation. If you have a computer network all machines running on identical systems and a virus gets into the system, you can guarantee that every one of those computers will get infected. If you have a network network running on several different systems, it is not possible for one computer virus to bring down the entire network. Companies are much the same. Diversity makes a company stronger and more able to meet the challenges it faces.

Emotional intelligence is not generally recognised as there is no real way to grade it. But it is a very important skill. When companies are thinking about a specific role, they may have to think more about teams. What is going to diverse the team? What is going to make it stronger?

I am not sure where this quote is from but it is very relevant to the situation: ‘If everyone is thinking the same, then somebody is not thinking’.

Building teams is a complicated process. But it is the most beneficial where the different individuals complement each other  and are recognised for it.