Importance of Diversity

Diversity is key to our evolution as it brings new flavors in to our existing mix.

Without diversity we can be one dimensional.

As a male, white, Yorkshireman I share many traits of this specific group. Having been brought up in this group it has helped both shape my thinking, and more importantly, probably restricted it.

So if my team consists of just white, male Yokshiremen, where will new ideas come from? We will need to re-invent the wheel that has already been invented by other groups.

As we move towards a global era, then we need a culture which is global in nature in order to compete.

If my business is based in Yorkshire, serving male, white, yorkshremen, then a company of male white Yorkshiremen, might be a good idea. Might be!

However, in a global business, where we operate around the globe, and have global customers we need to be successful in each and every location, then maybe a Yorkshire culture might not be the best approach.

Even though I am a proud Yorkshireman, I have to admit that, we have not cornered the market in the best ideas.

There are some things Yorkshiremen are very good at, and we should look to include them into our global culture, but we also need to be open to the strengths of other groups. This is why we need inclusion, so that we can have access to these skills, and then include them.

We need to utilize best practices from around the globe.

However, this is not easy, as we have to overcome the “not invented here” syndrome, which is very strong.

We also need to overcome the culture of “Corporate knows best” of which I have been both a victim and perpetrator.

This is important to understand because, as we drive standardization on a global scale, we need to understand that just because something is a Corporate standard, that doesn’t make it the best standard.

The best standard needs to become the Corporate standard, not the other way around.

In order to do this we need to have a good blend of cultures within our Corporate teams, and also need to have Corporate staff work out in the regions to learn what works and what doesn’t work in the regions.

This will allow us to create a global culture, which is open to new ideas, will promote best practices, and allows us to think “Think Globally, Understand Locally, and Act Appropriately”

I always like to use an example to illustrate my point and today is no exception 🙂

I am a big fan of soccer, and whilst I will always support England, and I love our robust all action style.

I also know that if the England team had the defensive talents of the Italians; the passing skills of the Spanish; the flair of the Brazilians; the luck of the Irish; and of-course the penalty taking talents of the Germans; then England would be the best teams in the world.

If we want to be the best then we need to learn from the rest, and this is why we need diversity.