Diversity Is a Competitive Advantage
Diversity creates opportunities for innovation. In the search for the next gold rush, companies are clamoring to engage millennials through the creation of compelling stories. With the current seismic shift in population demographics and increased globalization, how can leaders make the difference when it comes to diversity? What is the role of diversity in the current global competitive climate?
Leadership in this day and age requires a new way of thinking. The CEO has to be committed to diversity at EVERY level in order for change to happen. In order for diversity to become a categorical imperative, senior leadership’s compensation must be directly tied to the level of diversity on their individual teams. The tired excuse of, “We can’t find any qualified women or people of color”…will not cut it anymore. This has been proven to be false, over and over again.
Companies talk about diversity, however they continue to promote and hire from a very narrow pool of candidates. The good old boy network continues to result in recycled “leaders”, or more appropriately – managers. The old ways of thinking and carrying on will lead to a slow death. Demographic changes has already started to make some companies literally running scared. Refusing to change and adapt is the quickest way to becoming obsolete. Millennials are taking over and this group is more diverse than any other previous generation.
There is a big difference between a leader and a manager. A leader has vision and understands real diversity is a competitive advantage. Conversely, a manager is responsible for overseeing processes and for following policy. Managers are not innovative, have limited vision and often do not see the big picture. Leaders on the other hand, understand the big picture and make moves based on a holistic approach. Leaders think long term. Leadership is needed in order to ensure diversity happens throughout every organization.
I heard motivational guru Les Brown say: “In order to do something you have never done before, you have to become someone you have never been”. This is so true! As the saying goes, doing the same thing over and over again is the true definition of insanity. Enlightened leaders realize that diversity opens up opportunities for growth.
It is certainly true that diversity creates opportunities because of broadened perspectives and experiences. If everyone has the same societal experiences and perspectives, then innovation will be severely diminished. Groupthink leads to failure and lack of innovation.
Diversity is a catalyst for change and disruption. Disruption is good! Stop being afraid of disruption. The disruptors are the ones who create massive change in society and technology. Diversity is not just a word in the dictionary! It is a core ideology for continued success. Diversity is not only good, but it is a proven competitive advantage. My motto is, “Give me an opportunity and I will ALWAYS be amazing”.
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