At EDAC we believe in the importance of having diversity in management. When using the LPA our partners are often asked by their clients to create an ‘ideal’ LPA profile to help identify the ‘right’ people for their organisations. Whilst this is a valuable exercise, one must acknowledge that diversity is also important, and that sometimes having an occasional ‘maverick’ or person within your organisation who ‘really doesn’t fit the normally expected profile’ will reap rewards.

The quote below describes James Ellis, who was one of the world’s top cryptographers working at the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), and clearly demonstrates this:

“Despite his skills as a codemaker, Ellis was never put in charge of any of the important GCHQ research groups. He was brilliant, but he was also unpredictable, introverted and not a natural teamworker. His colleague Richard Walton recalled: 

He was a rather quirky worker, and he didn’t really fit into the day-to-day business of GCHQ. But in terms of coming up with new ideas he was quite exceptional. You had to sort through some rubbish sometimes, but he was very innovative and always willing to challenge the orthodoxy. We would be in real trouble if everybody in GCHQ was like him, but we can tolerate a higher proportion of such people than most organisations. We put up with a number of people like him.” 

Source: The Code Book, Simon Singh, 1999, p 281.

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