“Radical Selection” is a crucial step in the Deliberate Diversity™ process. It is based on the idea that the broader our perspective is, the better our ideas become. When we put together a design team or an innovation team, it’s important to get as many different perspectives together as possible in order to produce breakthrough results. That’s why you need to bring in perspectives from outside your company.
I just served as a resource person for a client I’m working with. I did so because I know nothing about manufacturing, and that’s the best criteria for a resource person: Someone who knows nothing about what you do. They bring in a fresh perspective.
Good people to bring in are educators. Bring in some psychologists. Bring in the man on the street, someone who uses your product(s).
Everybody has blind spots. They arise from the fact that, as human beings, we are situated in a world that elicits responses from us at all times – often without providing an opportunity to stop and think about how we go about responding. In other words, we all have a default way of acting in the world. We all do things out of habit that we are not aware of doing. This is what it means to have a blind spot – to go about one’s daily routine without necessarily being aware of the way that one does this.
Before a consultant can get started helping an organization implement an effective diversity management strategy, its important to know what kind of culture surrounds diversity within a company. In other words, the consultant needs to know the default way diversity is understood by an organizations employees. Only once this is clear, can the consultant properly assess a company’s readiness for change and begin to devise a plan of execution. In order to do this, a CultureScan™ must be conducted.
Much of the work of performing culture audits as a part of diversity work misses the point. It is clear that an unexamined culture will likely continue to create an environment that will tolerate rather than appreciate and manage diversity. But to conduct culture audits under the guise that the culture must change to allow diversity to flourish is disingenuous.
Firstly, it is near impossible to do and second, it diverts leaders’ attention away from their real challenge. That challenge is to understand their corporate culture well enough to anticipate the reaction to change and to thereby manage change more effectively.