Friday, 28th April 2017
TAKE A WALK
Yes, that is right, take a walk through your organisation. Leave your office, your telephone, your team, and take a walk. Wear the lens of diversity - look for difference, actively. Hear difference. Smell difference. And for once, do not try to suppress it, or pretend you did not see it.
What do you see? What do you not see? Why?
When the head of the BBC once complained that the organisation was 'hideously white', especially at senior levels, it started a revolution in ethnic diversity. He saw the bias, and spoke out against it.
Step out of the organisation. Visit your customers and suppliers. What do you see or hear?
In an era of globalisation, the world should not just be 'out there'. It should be 'in here' too, to help you cope with change and adapt to the nuances of different markets and customers.
Walk in the neighbourhood where your company lives, marks its footprint, employs people, and throws its waste.
Ask questions and listen. Talk to those whom you do not normally talk to. Go out of your comfort zone. Seek opinions and invite criticism. Keep your diverse lenses on. You are looking for differences in attitudes, languages, skins, abilities, dis-abilities, gender, sexuality, religion or belief, age, ...
What do you see?
This exercise should tell you much more about your existing strengths and skills. It should also tell you about your gaps, opportunities for positive action, resources that already lie within. Prejudice is common, but only when we acknowledge it can we start to move beyond it.
Leaders need to engage. After all, it is people who make a difference and harness opportunities. Let their difference count.
Article added on 16th December 2009 at 11:01am
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