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Leadership Lessons: Take “Difference” out of Diversity

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HUH? You say. Diversity is difference. What else is there?

Diversity management means having a rainbow culture with lots of people from different races, gender, ages, and ways of thinking and being. Isn’t that what diversity is all about?

NOT QUITE.

Diversity is about creating a culture where each individual’s UNIQUE way of learning and participating can become an integral part of the culture.

A culture that honors individual creativity and ways of problem solving and a willingness to speak out is the newest, most powerful way to drive diversity at work.

If we stay with the statistics of how many from each subheading from diversity manual should work in an organization, we are back in the last century.

Rather it is about how to help employees create the conditions under which they can be the most collaborative and creative. This is how to increase productivity.

The keys to a culture that wants people from many backgrounds comes about because the leaders have shown what being authentic looks like, sounds like, and feels like. It is about leaders who model saying what they mean and doing what they say.

Work cultures that strive for uniqueness will by definition have diversity. In “UNIQUE: How Dynamic Leaders Drive Diversity” the following is outlines. For a free copy of the introduction (published in March 2014) contact Debbie@ceoptions.com.

Four areas that can make a difference are: personal storytelling that increases authenticity; ownership of behavior patterns that need to be transformed; practice in dialogue (goes way beyond conversation) which is the essence of give and take in communication, and systems thinking to see the WHOLE organization as “we’re all in it together” mentality.

Unique trumps difference every time and winning businesses are going in this direction.

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