Diversity Paradigm; Good For Business or Just The Right Thing To Do?
Our thoughts, insights and actions are mostly shaped and driven by our past experiences, environments, and up-bringing, good or bad.
Our thoughts, insights and actions are mostly shaped and driven by our past experiences, environments, and up-bringing, good or bad. In business, this behavior most likely may condemn such corporation to slow growth and profitability. Most corporations seem to want to focus on promoting diversity mostly as a requirement for contract compliance; or as a directive from some governmental entity. If they imagine themselves as “progressive”, they might even feel it’s the “right thing to do”. I submit to you that diversity should be looked upon as a major strategic business imperative. A culture of diversity diversifies the thoughts process, and
- enhances productivity
- opens the company to new market segments
- broadens and enhances creativity
- increases corporate agility
- ensures strategic optimization and deployment of corporate human capital
- increases the potential for profitability
In dollars and cents (or “sense” if you like) diversity translates to getting a share of the approximately 2.9 trillion dollars that minorities spend! (according to according to a report on minority buying power released by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business awhile back.) Oh, and let’s not forget that women control over 85 percent of all consumer spending. A staggering 4.3 trillion plus dollars! (according to Laurelle Johnson – LA Communication in Society Examiner) So you still think diversity is just all about affirmative action, and “doing the right thing?
Companies spend tons of money developing their mission and vision statements. A mission statement typically addresses the “why are we here” question, while the vision statement focuses on the “where will we be in the future, and how will we get there” question. Most companies who view the diversity initiative as the “right thing to do” usually will add some statement about diversity within their mission statement. However, they miss the boat when it comes to the “how will we get there” plan. Complex and elaborate plans are often made to support the attainment of the corporate mission; if leveraging diversity is included in that plan, they often give no thoughts to the existing or future infrastructure to support the diversity imperative. Consequently such plans frequently fail. Diversity should be more than a line item within a human resource deliverable, or measurement matrix.
With the shifting socio-economic environment, understanding and focusing on diversity as a major corporate initiative has suddenly become a major ingredient in the recipe for corporate success. Diversity should be a corporate-wide initiative, championed by the decision makers.…yet several major corporations are still stuck in a time warp. Imagine that!
The problem with looking and thinking alike is that you think similar thoughts all the time. Being comfortable means never having the guts to make a change and take a risk.