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Posted by Philip on 12 November 2013, 4:04 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Diversity — are you trying to get it right?

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If you are, you're very likely to get it wrong.

Organisations that build cultures that require people to do the right thing in regards to culture, gender, sexuality, function (disability) etc, create behaviours governed by fear. People will avoid engagement in order to stay safe, because they'll be scared of getting it wrong.

Nobody wants to be shamed, blamed, attacked, punished or made fun of.

This afternoon I challenged senior managers at St John to create a culture where people are allowed to get diversity wrong. This allows people to explore, learn, play and engage. It requires forgiveness, honesty, generosity and a commitment to open communication.

Getting diversity right is a function of activism and advocacy. It's an old conversation, which was right a few decades ago. I believe it's wrong for now.

Getting diversity wrong is a function of leadership. It's a new conversation, which requires courage, confidence, humility and compassion. I think we're ripe for it now.

Are you ready to get diversity wrong?

 

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