Diverse thinking (iStock)

Ideas are the currency of the 21st century.

For many businesses, the biggest risk is that they fail to make a meaningful move before a competitor with better ideas takes their place.

Clients who can apply innovative thinking to all aspects of their business - be that operations, finance, customer and supplier relationships, culture or talent management - stand, not only to survive, but to outperform the rest.

Any client who can tap into a team of consultants brimming with new ideas and a continuously fresh perspective will therefore be at a clear advantage.

Sometimes though, our subconscious actions and workplace culture encourage us to build our internal networks around colleagues who think like we do.

Without realising it, we put up the shutters, keeping challenge and new thinking at arms-length.

Instead, we should each strive to build deep and lasting friendships with colleagues who have different views and life experiences to our own.

By calling on an increasingly flexible, diverse network we'll each be able to relish whatever challenges our clients throw our way, and we'll be much better able to show them what we can do.

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