Starting last week, I am now also blogging for Diversity Executive on their Global Workforce channel. Please share this piece, and comment on their website!
There’s a shift underway, can you feel it?
It’s happening across the United States, and throughout the world. It’s being talked about in political arenas, in communities, and in families. And it’s playing out in workplaces.
It’s a new round of conversation about an old question, which is: How can we live together in a way that affords all of us the happy, productive, fulfilling lives we aspire to, and is also sustainable? It’s a conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.
History and structural changes are inviting us to undergo a profound paradigm shift. It’s an opportunity, but also a time of chaos and anxiety as we face unprecedented challenges to who we are and how we do things. In the US, it’s showing up in the rapid rise of the Latino population in numbers and economic strength. It’s in the way women are outnumbering men in universities and moving into more positions of leadership in a growing number of spheres. It’s in the maturation of Generation Y, the largest generation ever, and unique in their approach to teamwork, their technological savvy, and their values about work, race, class, marriage, and the environment. It’s in the sea change in attitudes towards LGBTQI people – a majority now support same-sex marriage.
But wait, there’s more! This new world is glocal – the global is (literally) in everyone’s backyards, and effective work requires better connection and awareness of our individual and collective impact on people we may never meet in person. It’s a world in which the best leaders exude more “feminine” leadership traits like empathy, intuition, collaboration, patience, long-term planning, and expressive of feelings than “masculine” traits like decisiveness, independence, and analysis – see John Gerzema’s work on the Athena Doctrine. It’s a world, according to revolutionaries like prescient author Dan Pink where right-brained, holistic, artistic thinking is gaining ground over left-brained, logical, linear approaches.
And there is a dark side. The number of active hate groups in the US has increased by 69% — to over 1,000 – since 2000, particularly since President Obama took office in 2008. The gap between rich and poor is the largest it’s ever been in the US. Decent education and healthcare is out of reach for a growing number of Americans. And the United States no longer dominates the world in every sphere, in fact lagging behind even developing countries, when it comes to health, productivity, and general well-being.
The future belongs to those who act on the research showing that diversity is necessary to obtaining the best results possible, whatever those might be – including profits. The future belongs to those who remember that diversity is not an end, but a means, which is inclusiveness and equity, which are required for everyone’s brilliance to thrive. And we need everyone’s brilliance to solve the problems we face, and to obtain those best results we strive for.
Join me in this ongoing conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusiveness, where I will be blogging about the big picture, the big questions, and deeper aspects of the old questions!
Are you ready to bust open some paradigms?