Managing Diversity


The Challenges of Change
The interplay of dramatic technology expansion and shifting demographics has led to great changes to the most fundamental ways in which we work and do business. How is your organization addressing the human challenges that emerge from great change?

  • We have more communication options at our fingertips than ever and our diverse workplaces mean that we all must deal with diverse communication styles.
  • The need for speed keeps us tied to old routines because we lack the time to reflect on and change our thought and behavior patterns.
  • The potential to expand globally is stifled by our lack of cultural competence.
  • The blurring lines between teams and organizations causes confusion, lack of alignment and unclear accountability.

The human challenges that emerge from change have the power to nullify the advances we might make as we leverage the power of technology and the avenues it opens up. Where do the human challenges come from? Often from the fact that, in our fast-paced, ever changing environments, our diversity has not been harnessed and put to use for strategic advantage.

The temptation is to offer diversity training. But your organization doesn't have to learn how to be diverse it already is! If organizations view diversity as a problem to be fixed, they're at risk of perpetuating the problems that cause disenfranchisement. The answer is to look comprehensively at your culture and make sure it is inclusive. That means linking the performance of each and every employee to the mission of your organization.

What's good about diversity?
It presents opportunity. Your diverse workforce holds the potential for rich ideas and solutions, as varying experiences, cultures, perspectives and styles blend together into unexpected and unique outcomes. Diversity can help you increase innovation, tap emerging markets, do business internationally, and better understand/anticipate customer needs.

What's challenging about diversity?
As speed and complexity converge in your workplace, busy people move quickly without adequate awareness and time to think about, never mind change, their routines and patterns. Diversity challenges that aren't addressed can lead to polarization, lower morale and decreased productivity if organizations fail to provide opportunities for each and every employee to achieve full potential and contribute to the future. For some companies, this has translated into costly lawsuits as workplace discrimination claims have increased dramatically over the last 10 years.

Why Planning for Inclusion?
Your company is a unique organism with its own collective personality and focus. A canned training program might raise some awareness and provide managers with a few effective techniques, but it won't help you turn diversity into a strategic business advantage. Instead, you need to focus on your company from the top down.

How will you and your company's leaders transform your organization from good to great?
Answer that question, and you'll create a culture in which your company's given diversity drives productivity and profit. Culture is people, and it is your people who will make or break your company-not killer technology, not breakthrough products, not even profits.

How Planning for Inclusion Works:
Planning for Inclusion is designed to tighten the links between Leadership, Management and Mission.

Based on proven methods and processes, Planning for Inclusion is also a customized program that is designed to meet the specific challenges of your culture and business imperatives. The Planning for Inclusion initiative involves the following (#) steps:

  1. Assessment: Through intensive, comprehensive data gathering, we get to know your organization from the inside out. We talk with people at all levels of the organization, and then we sit down with you to go over the specific challenges you face, and design a program to meet those challenges.
  2. Planning and Design: Based on what is discovered during the Assessment phase, we work with you to develop goals for building a more inclusive work environment. Program design may include a mix of facilitated thinking sessions, along with training and team building programs. It might include one-to-one coaching, strategic planning, or further research and data gathering. It may also include the design and development of an organizational change program. The Planning and Design decisions are linked tightly to the Assessment findings. Any programs that are planned and designed will be customized to your environment through a partnership between RDP and your key people. All programs include measurable objectives and tracking systems so you can monitor and assess progress.
  3. Implementation: With a cadre of skilled researchers, facilitators, trainers and communications experts, RDP Consulting Services can provide you with whatever level of support you need when you enter the Implementation Phase.
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