Culture & Global Diversity
It’s fairly well accepted that with each passing day, societies and organizations are becoming less homogenous and we find ourselves dealing with cultural diversity in many more places of our lives. From our neighborhoods and schools to our workplaces and virtual communities, we are much more likely to interact with people who are different from ourselves. There are similarities, too, of course; yet it is the ability to discern which differences are making a difference, that is the key to fulfilling the promise of global diversity.
At LCW, we define diversity as the differences that exist within us all, that bring a variety of backgrounds, styles, perspectives, values, and beliefs as assets to groups and organizations. Workforce diversity includes the many dimensions in which people are different, from age, ethnicity, race, nationality, gender, religion, physical ability and sexual orientation, to belief systems and religion, role and organizational status, geographic location, native language, socioeconomics, income level, education, personality, professional experience, and work style. The mix will be different in every organization, country and region of the world--for example, veteran status is an important aspect of diversity in the U.S. and U.K but not as much so in other regions. But diversity is always there and it’s always having an impact—whether people and systems are aware (conscious) of it or not (unconscious.) Our team is committed to understanding these differences on a global scale. For example, we conduct original research, such as that on Global Millennials, and we create tools, such as this video regarding what tends to influence Millennials' behavior and culture in different geographies.
At LCW, we define workforce inclusion as the conscious creation of an environment where colleagues feel they are respected, valued, and have the opportunity to achieve their career aspirations. We define an inclusive culture as one where individuals choose behaviors that engage others on their own terms; where managers are held accountable to optimize the talents, diversity, and assets present; and where leaders' effectiveness measures how well diversity is leveraged to produce business results such as innovation, brand equity, employee engagement, and competitive advantage that is sustainable.
Our philosophy is that people and systems are (almost!) always well-intentioned, even when their behavior is non-inclusive or ineffective, and that people generally behave according to habits, frameworks and experiences which are highly influenced by their individual diversity profiles, cultural identities, and the organizational systems in which they operate. We believe that behaving inclusively is only possible when people have the tools, skills, systems—and cultural competence—to do so. We believe that an organization that uses cultural competence to embed diversity and inclusion into its people, products, and processes has a clear competitive advantage over those who do not.
Global Diversity and its correlation to culture is also a regular topic on our blog. For example, there you can explore: