BY SAMUEL WILLIAMS, AAMPLIFY
The topic of diversity begs a politically correct response. However, this is often far from what people think. When I reflect on my career – which has been predominantly around white-male, middle-class, stereotypical salespeople – the topic of diversity has been met with varying degrees of derision and thinly veiled lip service. The typical misogynistic jokes are trotted out, perhaps not in a management meeting, but certainly in private circles or after some liquid lubrication after-hours.
Despite this, the characters we now see in workplaces have shifted, if not because of simple demographics, then in order to remain economically competitive. Diversity is not simply about being politically correct for its own sake, it is about tapping into hidden creativity and not so obvious capability to adapt to a changing marketplace.
Our attitudes towards welcoming people into the workplace of different – ethnicity, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, age, culture, religion and hair colour – stem from our own ability to embrace change. We all become comfortable in the familiar and fear the uncertainty that tomorrow brings. Those companies that are going to survive and thrive in an increasingly globally diverse market, are those that can tap into the talents of older (more experienced) people, or the cultural understanding borne of growing up in Muslim secular state or the insight offered by a socially-inept gay geek. Agile design and responsive design depend on team diversity.
Speaking from the heart and feeling able to voice your ideas is incredibly important to achieving project success. In this I can speak from experience. As a gay (and yes still white male), too many times have I subtly, but insidiously become aware, of being passed over or not considered relevant to a discussion or for a job. That misogynistic view of the world I described above is also one that is threatened by a different point of view on their understanding of sexuality. In an environment where I have felt able to be myself, the results have been better than ordinary and the job far more rewarding.
Getting the best from your people, means enabling them to be their best, without fear or guilt for who they are – be it a 70 years old, migrant or someone with a speech impediment. Enabling your people to be their best, will make your organisation more agile and capable of dealing with change.
Change certainly has an unusual face.
The people at Aamplify delight in utilising left-brain technology, in combination with right-brain creativity, to help clients build their brand equity. If you want to tap into seasoned capability and fresh thinking focused on delivering tangible marketing results, please get in touch with Aamplify today.