Neurodiversity at Work Book Summary - Neurodiversity at Work Book explained in key points
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Neurodiversity at Work summary

Theo Smith and Amanda Kirby

Drive Innovation, Performance and Productivity With a Neurodiverse Workforce

4.4 (311 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

'Neurodiversity at Work' by Theo Smith and Amanda Kirby is a guide for employers to support and empower neurodiverse individuals in the workplace. The book provides practical strategies and case studies for creating more inclusive work environments.

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    Neurodiversity at Work
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    What is neurodiversity, and why does it matter?

    In a sense, we’re all neurodiverse. After all, each of us has 100 billion brain cells, firing and making connections every second of the day. No two brains are exactly the same. They’re like our thumbprints – each one is wholly unique. 

    But often, being “neurodiverse” is taken to mean that someone has a specific diagnosis, like dyslexia, ADHD, or autism. The term indicates that their brains work differently in the specific ways that are associated with that particular diagnosis. 

    Like with any definition, there’s a lot of controversy about what the exact meaning of neurodiversity is. But what’s commonly agreed is that the term points to the fact that we don’t all process information and think in the same way. In fact, the ways our minds work are affected by a number of factors: past experiences, our specific neurobiological makeup, the kind of education we’ve received, the traumas we’ve been exposed to, and a host of other things. Of course, all of these factors affect how we think and work. 

    That’s why it’s such a problem that workplaces are designed to be one-size-fits-all. Not everyone can function well in an open office, or between the hours of nine and five. Not everyone is able to come up with answers on the spot, or lead a presentation with aplomb. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a lot to contribute to the workplace. On the contrary, some of our greatest entrepreneurs have described themselves as being neurodiverse. Seeing the world differently can mean having unexpected solutions to complex problems. 

    That’s why companies like Microsoft, JP Morgan, and IBM, among others, are working furiously to recruit and support neurodiverse talent in the workplace. But how exactly do you adapt hiring practices to support neurodiversity? 

    To answer this question, let’s explore the three steps you can take to begin building a neurodiverse team in your workplace. 

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    What is Neurodiversity at Work about?

    Neurodiversity at Work (2022) is a practical guide to recruiting neurodiverse employees and creating work environments that allow them to thrive. Thanks to the digital revolution, the world of work has changed dramatically over the last decades. Yet corporate culture has remained trapped in archaic hiring practices that don’t work for the neurodiverse. By updating these practices, you’ll create a more inclusive workplace, which will yield more successful and innovative teams.

    Neurodiversity at Work Review

    Neurodiversity at Work (2023) explores how embracing and accommodating neurological differences in the workplace can lead to greater creativity and productivity. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Through real-life examples, it demonstrates the benefits of neurodiversity, showing how it can foster innovation and problem-solving in organizations.
    • Practical strategies are provided for creating inclusive work environments that support individuals with neurodivergent traits, empowering both employers and employees.
    • The book sheds light on the untapped potential of individuals who may think differently, fostering a shift in mindset and challenging traditional notions of productivity.

    Who should read Neurodiversity at Work?

    • Hiring managers seeking to attract neurodiverse candidates
    • Leaders looking to create a communicative, trusting workplace
    • Anyone who wants to learn how to advocate for themselves in a corporate environment

    About the Author

    Theo Smith is a talent acquisition leader and a member of the Resourcing Leaders 100. He led recruitment strategy at NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. 

    Professor Amanda Kirby is a doctor, tech entrepreneur, and experienced researcher. Her previous books include How to Succeed in Employment with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Autism and ADHD and How to Succeed in College and University with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Autism and ADHD

    Both authors identify as being neurodivergent.

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    Neurodiversity at Work FAQs 

    What is the main message of Neurodiversity at Work?

    The main message of Neurodiversity at Work is embracing and valuing the unique strengths and perspectives of neurodivergent individuals in the workplace.

    How long does it take to read Neurodiversity at Work?

    The reading time for Neurodiversity at Work varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Neurodiversity at Work a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Neurodiversity at Work is a valuable read, providing insights and practical strategies for creating inclusive work environments and harnessing the potential of all employees.

    Who is the author of Neurodiversity at Work?

    The authors of Neurodiversity at Work are Theo Smith and Amanda Kirby.

    What to read after Neurodiversity at Work?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Neurodiversity at Work, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • DIRTY LAUNDRY by Richard Pink & Roxanne Emery
    • The Power of Neurodiversity by Thomas Armstrong
    • Divergent Mind by Jenara Nerenberg
    • The ADHD Effect on Marriage by Melissa Orlov
    • Workstyle by Lizzie Penny and Alex Hirst
    • ADHD an A-Z by Leanne Maskell
    • Scattered Minds by Gabor Maté
    • In a Different Key by John Donvan and Caren Zucker
    • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
    • The ADHD Advantage by Dale Archer