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What we can learn from The Big Short about Neurodiversity in the workplace

The story of Michael Burry, as depicted in the film “The Big Short,” highlights the critical role that effective communication and an understanding of different neurotypes play in achieving success, growth, and innovation in the workplace. Burry’s experience as an autistic individual navigating the world of finance offers a valuable lesson to managers about the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive workplace that values and accommodates all types of thinkers.

Neurodiversity refers to the natural variation in human cognitive processing, including differences such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and others. Neurodivergent individuals often possess unique perspectives and strengths that can be invaluable to an organization, particularly in fields that require critical thinking and problem-solving, like finance. However, traditional workplace structures and communication styles often do not accommodate these differences, leading to misunderstandings and missed opportunities.

In Burry’s case, his unique way of thinking and attention to detail allowed him to identify the housing market bubble and make a well-researched bet against it. However, his communication style, which was straightforward and lacking in social nuance, caused confusion and anxiety among his investors. This highlights the importance of creating a workplace culture that values diverse communication styles and understands the strengths and limitations of different neurotypes.

Managers can foster a more inclusive workplace by taking steps to understand and accommodate the different ways people communicate and process information. This may include offering training on neurodiversity and communication, providing flexible work arrangements, and creating an environment that encourages open and honest communication. It also involves recognizing and valuing the strengths that neurodivergent individuals bring to the table, rather than expecting everyone to conform to a narrow set of communication and thinking styles.

Effective communication is crucial for success in any organization, and it becomes even more critical when working with diverse individuals. Managers should strive to create an environment that values differences and encourages open communication, which can lead to a more creative and innovative workplace. This not only benefits neurodivergent individuals but also benefits the organization as a whole, as it allows for a wider range of perspectives and ideas.

The story of Michael Burry and the success of his bet against the housing market bubble highlights the importance of neurodiversity and effective communication in the workplace. Managers who take steps to create an inclusive culture that values diverse communication styles and recognizes the strengths of different neurotypes are better positioned to achieve success, growth, and innovation. As the workforce becomes increasingly diverse, it is essential to create an environment that encourages open communication and accommodates different ways of thinking to maximize the potential of all team members.


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