Friday, March 23, 2012

Diversity and Inclusion-The Business Case

Let me state up front, I am an advocate for diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace. Over and above the basic issue of human dignity, I think there is a strong business case that has three elements to it. First, global companies need access to the best talent in the world. In the war for talent, no company can afford to exclude talented people for any reason. That also means that you have to create a meritocracy...a work environment where success is based on performance. Second, diverse teams can work better...reduce the risk of "group think" and increase opportunities for innovation . A key point is that diverse teams don't automatically work better just because they are diverse. It takes skilled leadership to realize that potential. The third element of the business case is that customers and key stakeholders want to "see themselves" in companies they deal with. It's important to be able to put a local face on a global business. Since the subject of this blog is leadership, I'm going to spend the next few days exploring the second point. What's it take for a leader to realize the potential of a diverse team?


  1. Your point that "diverse teams don't automatically work better just because they are diverse" is a very good one. A leader without the necessary skills can actually demotivate a diverse team if he/she fails to be respectful of difference and understand how each individual is influenced by his/her cultural backgrounds. Yet also the leader must avoid the temptation to paint all individuals with the same brush. A great leadership challenge! look forward to reading more.

  2. Susan, Thanks. I'm going to tackle the "paint wih the same brush" issue later this week....maybe tomorrow.