Neurodiversity at Work, by Theo Smith and Amanda Kirby

The Authors:

Both authors are incredibly inspirational to me.

Theo Smith has a varied career background but most recently Talent Acquisition Leader and a member of the Resourcing Leaders 100.  He is neurodiverse- dyslexic, and he personally associates with ADHD.  He has a child and relatives who identify as neurodiverse.

Professor Amanda Kirby is a GP, experienced researcher and most importantly have family members who are neurodivergent.  She is, amongst a lot of wonderful work she does to support neurodiversity, CEO of Do-IT Solutions, a tech-for-good company.

Both authors are passionate advocates for the neurodiverse movement.

The Book:

This book takes you on a journey of discovery.  Amanda and Theo share their perspectives, and bring realities in our world of work to life through case studies.  They also provide best practice suggestions and refer to useful resources throughout.

What I like most about the book:

This book has opened my eyes to practical ways of understanding neurodiversity a bit better.  It will help me to be less judgemental and more curious to understand other’s perspectives and needs and also to celebrate the strengths every individual bring.  For leaders to be brave and embrace true talent diversity and inclusion in the workplace, is my heartfelt wish for the future, because I think there is still too much fixed mindset in the leadership sphere and this is having socio-economic consequences for all.

My key take-outs:

You can read my key take-outs in this presentation that I shared during a recent webinar on the topic of Neurodiversity at Work- the content of the presentation was mainly sourced from this book.  Click the link here to download a copy of the slides.

In summary, I take away:

  • Everyone bring unique strengths
  • Selection should be culture-add (instead of just culture-fit) and relevant to the actual job
  • Seek expert advice to increase understanding and build knowledge of best practice solutions to challenges
  • Involve your neurodiverse employees in building inclusive cultures
  • It’s not a project or a tick box exercise to get this right- it’s ongoing and should form part of your ongoing people strategy
I thoroughly recommend this book for those of you who would like to increase your awareness and would like to make a real difference.