Diversity: The art of thinking independently together. – Malcolm Forbes
The notion of diversity has evolved tremendously through the years. Historically, workplace diversity translated into hiring goals focused on racial and sexual equality. But today’s organizations are recognizing that there’s sustainable strategic value in diversity that reaches beyond demographics.
Diversity of ideas, perspectives and life experiences enables organizations to innovate and compete more effectively in today’s global marketplace. Bringing together a broad spectrum of skills, expertise and problem solving approaches enhances outcomes in collaborative environments. However, for this kind of diversity to take hold in the workplace, it must be woven into an organization’s culture. And, like any aspect of corporate culture, it must start with leaders who embrace inclusive attitudes and behaviors.
This week, we asked Ekaterina to join us, along with Silicon Valley product development executive, Rob Garcia, who leads diverse organizations in creating breakthrough HR technology products. The conversations were rich and lively – peppered with nuggets of wisdom that anyone can use to collaborate and innovate more effectively.
NOTE: For complete highlights from yesterday’s #TChat Twitter forum, be sure to watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.
TUE 1/29 #TChat Radio Show: Our hosts sat down to examine the “human” side of innovation with Rob Garcia, Director of Product Strategy and Marketing at RiseSmart, the leader in next-generation outplacement solutions.
WED 1/30 #TChat Twitter: Rob again joined us – along with Ekaterina Walter – and hundreds of #TChat participants, as we opened the Twitter channel to a dynamic conversation about how to leverage diversity for better business results. Key tweets are featured below…
NOTE: For more highlights from yesterday’s #TChat Twitter forum, be sure to watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.
What are your unconventional definitions for workplace diversity?
“Different backgrounds. Different approaches. Different solutions. Shared success.” @talemetry
“Diversity of thought & experience gives ‘average’ a chance to be ‘great.'”@alliPolin
“More than statistical differences. Creative diversity, thought diversity just as important.” @LexieFO
How do leaders nurture and cultivate diversity?
“Be open to the unconventional. Note: Everything was unconventional at one point.” @SJAbbott
“Leaders nurture diversity by recognizing the value of “different,” publicly and decidedly.” @RobGarciaSJ
How does conventional diversity play into this?
“It happens organically, but diverse people must be brought together intentionally.” @martinamcgowan
“Diversity in the workplace is necessary to create a competitive economy in a globalized world.” @WeGoodify
What role does HR technology play?
“Digital villages are the now-next community of collaboration inside and out of organizations.” @ReCenterMoment
“HRTech puts too much focus on finding candidates’ keywords instead of their passion and company fit.” @MarcCibulka
“What current resume screening has in speed, it LACKS in ability to see diversity & potentiality.” @N_BarryJansson
How can leaders encourage this “different” diversity?
“Break away from your dept. Ask someone outside your dept to brainstorm ideas once in a while. You never know.” @LukiKit
“Leaders need to educate their teams and organizations about the value of including many different views.” @TerriKlass
SPECIAL THANKS: We’re grateful to Rob Garcia and Ekaterina Walter for bringing your understanding of diversity to TalentCulture events this week! Your ideas have inspired our diverse “world of work” community to reflect and and interact in ways that that we hope will make a difference in their respective organizations.
NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events inspire you to write about diversity or other workplace issues? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.
WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week – as Valentine’s Day approaches, we’ll look at how employer/employee relationships have been redefined – and what it means for the future of work. Don’t miss “The Employment Romance is Over. Now What?” on #TChat Radio, Tuesday, Feb 5, at 7:30pm ET. And then #TChat Twitter Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 7pm ET. Look for more details next Monday via @TalentCulture and #TChat.
A5: unconventional diversity is allowing people the freedom to have a life outside of the workplace. #tchatGreg Marcus
A5 Unconventional diversity means you have to be willing to be an unconventional thinker-which means going against the grain at times #TChatJanine Truitt
A5: Define and articulate roles. Provide the right tools. Allow freedom. Watch magic happen. #tchatMark Salke
A5 Don’t silo creatives – get them right into the traditional mix. #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A5. Break away from your dept. Ask someone outside your dept to brainstorm ideas once in a while. You never know what others can add. #TChatKit Lukianov
A5 your employees are your customer base. #tchat keep them engaged.John Kosic
A5: Leaders need to get out of the way and let their teams do what they do best #tchatJen Olney
A5: Interact with people in the workforce in a completely different industry, travel, reflect, ask questions #TChatMegan Rene Burkett
A5 – GET out of the way! and let the team collaborate and do its job – give feedback when needed to keep moving forward #tchatRichard S Pearson
A5: The old rule book needs to go out the window. We are re-writing the new one right now. #tchatDawn Rasmussen
A5. Stop making things seem so concrete- welcome people to bring in fresh new ideas and follow through #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A5: Best diversity-savvy #leaders I know are listeners, models, encouragers. They’re humble, w/ a sense of humor! #tchatAnne Messenger
#tchat A5 Leaders promote idea diversity by deeply cherishing creative solutionsMichael Leiter
A5. Leaders need to educate their teams and organizations about the value of including many different views. #tchatTerri Klass
A5 Not tolerating those who buck the system and create negative energy. Important for a leader to know enough they can distinguish. #TChatMelissa Lamson
A5 Wipe clean our emotional and prehistoric notions of top down leadership and open our eyes to the talent within each person #TChatEnzo Guardino
a5 Leaders shouldn’t be afraid to build teams of people that don’t have every skill a-z but have ooph & passion for the work #tchatAlli Polin
Community building — encourage employees from different walks to exchange ideas. #Tchat A5Andrew Grossman
A5. Encourage your staff to be curious-to take a step back and see what else is emerging in the world-they can bring back useful info #tchatBridget Webb
A5: Companies must foster, cultivate, and invest in unconventional diversity. It will take time b/c it requires a shift in culture. #TChatDeryle Daniels, Jr.
Author: Megan Burkett
Megan Burkett, an entrepreneurial problem solver who is launching her career as a community manager, social learning strategist, or a communication coordinator. Growing up on a farm and studying interpersonal and organizational communication taught her the power of community and building relationships. Her collaborative approach to learning led her to in five diverse internships and numerous independent studies. Megan was recruited by TalentCulture founder, Meghan M. Biro, to serve as editorial calendar project manager, a co-recruiter for #TChat Radio, and communication coordinator for community ambassadors. Megan's mentors describe her as "wise beyond her years" and always up for a challenge. She's a conversationalist who will chat with you about physics, sprint triathlons, peanut butter addiction, or finding the 'real' in social media relations. Go ahead - introduce yourself!