This is the third of a series of short posts based on feedback to an earlier article about the changing face of leadership.
If you’d like to contribute to this ongoing conversation, please join us in the LinkedIn Group ‘Leadership in a Changing World’.
“The best leaders have embraced new ways of working, actively encouraging open discussion of problems and differences of opinion.”
This proved to be something of a Rorschach test, with respondents interpreting ‘diversity’ in various ways based on their particular situation and experience.
It was interesting that very few tackled it directly in the context of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion agenda. (This probably reflects the level of specialist DEI expertise among the respondents rather than a lack of interest.)
There was generalised agreement that the focus on diversity was a positive and necessary development:
“Diversity in the broadest sense is probably one of the most important ingredients in the management mix. It may sometimes be uncomfortable and difficult for leaders to embrace, but those who do gain huge insights and competitive advantage.”
Others acknowledged that many leaders and organisations have been paying lip service, but now needed to walk the talk:
“It often wasn't lived properly. So yes, the current generation of leaders should have internalized this better.”
“It’s extraordinary really that it has taken the events of the last year or so to get people to this point.”
The subject also prompted as many questions as answers:
“Nobody can disagree with ‘diversity’. But what diversity? What are the downsides of diversity? How do we get diversity of the mind? How do we deal with mavericks? Do we have a culture that can sustain positive conflict? How do we get there? How do we get truth?”