Diversity in One Word
We all know what diversity is and that it is inevitable, therefore an organisation has to deal with it in the best possible way it can.
There are three key points to it, such as:-
· Common Ground
To my mind, Common Ground is the key to making Diversity work. We all have colleagues who we work with but would not call a friend, not the sort of friend we would socialise with, or go on outings with. Working with them is however very different and valued, perhaps for their ideas or their work ethic and effort — they help to get both of you to a higher level of achievement, even though at a personal level you cannot stand them. The key word here is clearly Common Ground defined as WORK.
Secondly, Equality starts right at the top of the organisation. Although easier said than done everyone has to be treated equally. Germany has the example of the “Gastarbeiter”, foreign workers who were cheap labour with no voice: they were called Foreign Workers as everyone thought they would only be staying for a fixed period of time. We now know better as they are still part of the working culture, but not only that, for they now live with us, shaping our country as much as we do — we, both are benefiting from this.
There can be no more stereotypes, discrimination or abandonment, there must be EQUALITY.
Nevertheless, nothing will make a difference if the following is not being taken seriously: CONTINUITY is for the continuous effort the organisation needs to make diversity work. Diversity has to be embodied in the ethos of human relations.
To conclude what the most powerful and practical way for organisations to prioritise diversity depends mainly on the organisation itself, as well as, the industry and their workforce.
The three key points may be summarised with one word: Exchange.
By supporting the encouragement of exchange, an organisation may get to the next level far beyond their current achievements and forecasts.
For a team to work together as one they need to find Common Ground and treat each other equally.
This can be achieved by encouraging exchange within the organisation itself through conferencing, training, mentoring, and erasing prejudice. But also by creating internationally working teams, which is becoming easier day – day.
Encouraging through the way of Exchange, different cultures have different ways of reaching solutions, this may spark another level of success.
There will always be minority groups of rejecters who are change resistors, so as most members of the organisation need to be on-board, these so called change resistors should be bypassed once their objections are studied and can be discounted carefully.
I would like to end this article with a quote from Stuart Scott, former sportcaster and anchor on ESPN:
“Diversity means understanding.”
I leave you with this simple and yet thought provoking quote…
(Would like to hear your thoughts and experiences in regards to this matter.)
Pascal D. Frank