Diversity is essential to our development because it introduces new elements to our current balance.
We can become one-dimensional if we lack diversity.
As a white Yorkshireman, I share many of the characteristics of this group.
Being raised in this environment has shaped and, more crucially, restricted my thinking.
So where will new ideas come from if my team is made up entirely of white, male Yorkshiremen? We’ll have to reinvent the wheel, which has already been invented by others.
As we move towards a global era, then we need a culture that is global in nature in order to compete.
If my business is based in Yorkshire, serving male, white, Yorkshiremen, 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 with the best ideas.
There are some things Yorkshiremen are very good at, and we should look to include them in our global culture, but we also need to be open to the strengths of other groups. This is why we need diversity 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, as well as Corporate staff working in the regions to understand what works and what doesn’t.
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, 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.
If you want to learn more about creating highly engaged teams or being a better leader click the link to make an appointment to talk about how I can help.