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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 works.

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 IF—Intuitive/Peeling

To be Continued


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