We recognise there are diverse ways of looking at the world, solving problems and working together. It can provide organisations with a competitive advantage that is not easily imitated. However it is much more than bringing together a diverse mix of people. Diversity aims to recognise, respect and value people’s differences to contribute and realise their full potential by promoting an inclusive culture.
I think most would agree it is not for the fainthearted, it requires leaders who have real courage to think and act differently. For some people it can be quite a big disruption, even if they are willing participants, like any change it is a learning process.
One of the questions I have often been asked “Will I need to compromise or change who I am”. When you ask them to expand on their question, there is a fear that by embracing others views it will somehow diminish who they are. I use the analogy ‘if you mix two colours like black and white you will get a new colour of grey. The black and white are still there, the colours blend rather one takeover the other.
When I think about situations where I have witnessed the achievement of ‘diversity of thought’ it is a really powerful moment. You know that you have reached a different place – one that is full of possibilities. Why wouldn’t we want to experience that daily.
“This new day has greeted us with no rules, unconditional opportunity. Do not dilute the power of this new day, with the hardship of yesterday. Greet this day the way it has greeted you, with open-arms and endless possibility” Steve Mariboli.
Navigator Partner Agnes Naera is an accomplished professional with more than ten years’ experience in the tertiary education sector. She is strongly motivated and committed to creating a society that maximises the potential of all people.