Tuesday, June 21, 2005
In our fast transforming world, company and organisational leadership often lags the reality of their client-base. (And Cultural diversity in the workplace is as critical as religious, gender and language diversity.)
The gap between their clients and is often superficially bridged at the image level by advertising, sales teams and marketing. Advertising agencies manage at times to put on a face of a culturally-aware organisation; sales teams are reasonably representative of their client base and marketing is occasionally targeted on the right market groups. But back at the office many decisions are made in the old traditional ways.
An individually-focused organisation (IFO) will motivate its teams on their individual performances. Everything will be "Key Performance Indicator" (KPI) driven and individual success, at the expense of the less visible, will be encouraged.
A community-focused organisation (CFO) will be focused on community and its all about us together as a community. They will often limit praise for individual successes and highlight group/ community successes.
In both IFOs and CFOs there will be inter-level, inter-team and inter-personal challenges, resulting in workplace conflict. When the issues of uniqueness, culture, religion, race, beliefs, gender, age, ability, generations, qualifications and historical experience are added to the picture then workplace conflict is a given.
These problems will be born of prejudice, jealousy, ignorance and the suppression of individual and workplace community aspirations and ideas.
Much of the challenge will emanate from the lack of representation at the highest level. This can be alleviated through transformation of the senior leadership. In such change comes all of the challenges of diversity in the boardroom.
How do you lead change, in diverse boardrooms and the workplace?
Some of the challenges are:
- "Rightness" in conflict. Judgements are made from our upbringing, our history, circumstances and our religion, race, beliefs and cultural alignment.
- The stresses in traditional "Workplace Diversity Management."
- Diversity of values - we all value different things in different ways.
- The varying interpretations of the key words, used to define values and principles.
- The normal conflicts, gossiping and backbiting that occur soon after people come together in groups and or teams.
Some of the solutions are:
- Develop an understanding, and acceptance, of diversity - in so doing let the team experience harmony and teamwork in a transformational team-building environment.
- Develop a common understanding of who we are, why we are together and how relevant our "work" is to society, the organisation, to family, to community and of course to the individual.
- Develop a common name and a team-based mission.
- Meet to clear past individual challenges, face-to-face.
- Develop a short list of positive and mutually understood and agreed values/ behaviours, that must be adhered to by all members of the team.
- Develop a list of negative and destructive behavours/ values that must be eliminated from the team's interactions.
- Get agreement and sign a commitment.
- Commit to equality at the level of respect, include management and leadership.
- Put in place a peer-driven and managed monthly meeting structure to manage all aspects of the agreement and the behaviours of team members.
- Regularly rotate the chair and the scribe to prevent a power-base from forming.
- Ensure that the process is caring, motivational and empowering whilst developing understanding and maintaining discipline.
The outcome through diversity training, team-building and clearing conflict is a powerful peer-driven workplace management system, led by the diverse team that it seeks to guide.
- Workplace diversity conflict is reduced through peer-agreement and management
- Reduced management stress and wasted time, spent in work-place conflict resolution
- Far less expenditure on labour dispute mechanisms and labour lawyers.
- Workplace teams that are involved, professional, committed and communicating.
- Better relationships with clients, family and community.
Leaders who choose to lead their culturally diverse work-teams, to great success, will involve each and every team member in the day to day processes of workplace diversity management. Ultimately, through the new diversity team unity and participation, they will be able to grow their services into burgeoning and exciting new markets.
It is time to lead and build diverse teams that are focussed and excited to be a part of their organisation.
More information on ">transformational teambuilding.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
This is the most exciting aspect of business in the modern world. The incredible amount of fresh ideas and new ways of doing business derive particularly from cultural diversity in the workplace.
Yet, within these opportunities lie many challenges.
- Lack of commonly understood respect
- Superiority and Inferiority clashes
- Language confusion
- Varying value systems
All caused by the ever-increasing cultural diversity in the workplace.
What can we do?
How do we:
- Build Respect?
- Get Common Understanding?
- Build Professionalism?
- Reduce and Control Prejudice?
- Improve Communication?
- Clear past Interpersonal Conflicts?
- Develop Accountability, Ownership and Responsibility?
- Build Teamwork & Unity?
- Get the Commitment of the entire Team?
- Ensure cultural diversity in the workplace works for our clients, our teams and our company or organisation, well into the future?
Yes! Within the these challenges, of cultural diversity in the workplace, lie many opportunities.
Opportunities to powerfully and excitingly build your business and your organisation, with your diverse team!
Let us help you to:
Build unified, respectful and accountable teams that work together in an emotionally safe workplace, free of past inter-personal challenges and focussed on supplying professional services and products to your internal and external customer base.
We will give you the tools to make this a long-term programme of transformation and unifying of your cultural diversity in the workplace.
Cultural Diversity in the Workplace, when seen as an opportunity, is your organisation's next big leap into the 21st Century success!