Diversity is a Thing of the Past.
By Michael D’Antonio
If you are still thinking in terms of diversity, it may be too late for you. The notion of “adding” some diversity to your workforce – like the sprinkling of a little spice on a bland meal -- presupposes there is a baseline of white workers that needs to be augmented with some color, gender, and sexual diversity. This is not only small-minded, it is dangerous in that you run the very real risk of missing out on a tremendous amount of intellectual capital as well as the ideas, innovations and hard questions that come with it.
The world has changed. Unfortunately, many organizations have not. We see pockets of progressive thinking, hiring and casting. We see some prominent positions being held by women and people of color. But time and again, there is a convergence toward homogeneity.
However, this is fundamentally changing. The colors, genders and religions of the world have already blended and will only continue to do so. Filling quotas and trying to “increase our diversity” will no longer be relevant. The most successful business will be built from the ground up to look and feel more like the real world. They will be Diverse by Design. Tapping into the talent and myriad of skills and points of view that are available to be leveraged. As Millennials age into main hiring roles, they will do what they’ve always done, collaborate and cross-pollinate in ways never seen before.
Having said that, this does not come without its challenges. While heterogeneous cultures are here to say – and we are all better off for it – different culture brings different communication skills, different temperaments, different work styles and different expectations, needs and desires. It wont just be like herding cats as, It will be like herding an entire zoo.
Organizations must determine common denominators, which ultimately drives a unified purpose. A purpose that allows room for the self, the individual, within the collective. A purpose that transcends individual differences and allows those differences to flourish under the auspice of a common goal.
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