Prerequisites for Success
Nothing succeeds like success. In managing
organizational diversity, this precept is especially true. Once the
culture accepts the "differential equation" of diversity,
organizational momentum picks up speed, devises resolutions to the
diversity issues, and in closed loop fashion changes the culture to
a proactive/win-win posture on diversity.
But before all that can happen, there are five
prerequisites that the organization must put in place. These are
briefly outlined below:
1. The organizational climate must be conducive
to the diversity issues. This is top-management's task as senior
executives set not only the policy but also the example from which
the organization learns.
2. The company's strategic intent emphasizes a customer orientation
that is both external and internal; this directs organizational
attention to peopleware. And that attention to peopleware puts the
diversity issue center stage.
3. The organization sees education / training as the prime change
driver—and commits accordingly.
4. A premium is put on performance; "making the numbers" and shared
values are both part and parcel of performance, metrics.
5. The measurement system reflects management philosophy and is
objectively tied into the strategic intent of the business.
With these preconditions firmly in hand, the organization is now
ready to look at techniques that both foster the positive synergy of
diversity and at the same time help correct course on behavior that
brings out the potential for divisiveness.
Learning About You, About Others
Different beats, different drummers. So right off, I know you'll be
different—and you know I'll be too. If we are to work together and
be really productive, then each of us would be wise to say:
• I had better know something about myself, and
• I had better know something about you
That "something" we would like to learn should be
helpful in predicting how we are likely to react or respond. The
Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS), based on the Myers-Briggs Type
Indicator (MBTI), is a handy way to get a first reading on ourselves
and on others. We have found this extremely productive in
strengthening teamwork for project leadership, organizational
cooperation, participative partnering and cross-border activities.
The Keisey Temperament Sorter (KTS) is an
excellent foundation for both self-awareness and for getting to know
and appreciate where others are coming from. It is easy to
administer and readily understand by all levels. Here's how it
Our characteristic preferences, gene-given and/or
learned, indicate our disposition to respond/act in an particular
pattern and more or less consistent manner. In simplified terms,
Myers-Briggs and the KTS approach focus on eight attributes
(temperament types/characteristics) in four "opposing pairs":
By pairing our preferences we can get a good indication of where we
are coming from—and also where others are coming from—and how both
of us will probably respond or react.
Please note that there are no "right" or "wrong"
types. Most of us have some of all eight to a degree. And remember
these are only preferences.
Of the 16 possible types four temperaments seem to act as the base
and provide a simplified, but reliable indicator to know ourselves
and others in, say, a project team situation.
These four temperaments (using MBTI shorthand)
are: SP—Sensing/Perceiving IT—Intuitive/Thinking SJ—Sensing/Judging