Individual and Company Success, Come Discover the
Diversity: Some Basic Notions
The first step is to better understand the diversity issue. Let's consider the sources of diversity among people:
• traits, characteristics, value systems, personalities and
attitudes—people differ because they were encoded by their parents
at conception and then scripted or rescripted during life
Following the old German proverb, "mastery lies in limitation," means that this paper will primarily address the aspects of diversity that stem from genetic (inherited) characteristics and learned (experience) characteristics. Both inherited and learned/ reinforced behavior patterns may be influenced from any or all of the three sources cited.
In any event our character and our behavior pattern act as drivers that script and sculpt our value system, personality and both long and short term attitudes. In turn, our values, personality and attitudes greatly influence and motivate how we act. Now we can begin to see how diversity can be a major stimulus or a stubborn inhibitor towards effective teamwork. And this is particularly true in today's world where teamwork, interdependence and cross-border/cross-function activity are all imperatives to both continuous improvement and reengineering innovations.
Positive, supportive actions/behavior will mean
closer-knit, more cohesive teamwork. Negative, non-contributory
actions/behavior will disrupt smooth teamwork and prove
dysfunctional to organizational progress.
• the demographics of the U.S. workforce will
change dramatically, presenting both organizations and managers
alike with increased diversity and a host of new challenges
requiring new solutions; see Annex I, "The Workforce of 2001," for
an interesting and very challenging look into the future
Six Challenging Issues
• organizational awareness—what is the posture of
the organization as a whole toward differences of any sort among its
No matter what the cause or justification/rationalization, diversity brings with it challenges to the smooth operation on the peopleware side that are infinitely more difficult to manage than on the so-called "hard issues" side. When there is an operational issue with hardware, the problem-solving is largely inanimate—standard problem-solving techniques using schematics, blueprints, roadmaps and other guides, and even built-in tests provide both diagnostics and remedies.
But what about the diversity issues with people?
Just when you think you know the "answers," the situation changes.
The possibilities from diversity seem infinite. The pragmatic
strategy seems to be—expect the unexpected!
To be Continued
To stay current on manufacturing competitive knowledge, please subscribe to our weekly bulletin, "Manufacturing. Basics and Best Practices (MBBP)." Simply fill in the below form and click on the " subscribe button."
We'll also send you our Special Report, "6-Change Initiatives for Personal and Company Success."
All at no cost of course.
Your personal information will never
be disclosed to any third party.
Here's what one of our subscribers said about the MBBP Bulletin:
"Great articles. Thanks for the insights. I often share portions of your articles with my staff and they too enjoy them and fine aspects where they can integrate points into their individual areas of responsibilities. Thanks again."
Kerry B. Stephenson. President. KALCO Lighting, LLC
Knowledge you’ll not find at offsite