The Shift of Diversity to Being a Key Strategic Initiative

I recently completed a proposal for diversity services for a prospective client, and was reviewing some of the materials I wrote. A key point I made is that the need for a diversity strategy has been rapidly shifting from a “we need to do this because of legal requirements” or “this is something nice to do” to “this is truly an important strategic business initiative.” Instead of diversity being a “defensive” strategy, it needs to be an offensive strategy to win in the workplace and marketplace.

A team participating in a strategic planning discussion . . . but they don't look very diverse, do they?

Today’s economy is changing rapidly; it is become much more global and internet-based. Commerce can easily be transacted globally and even small work teams are becoming more culturally and internationally diverse. To survive in today’s environment, a growing company needs to easily know how to sell to a global diverse marketplace as well as successfully manage geographically spread diverse teams.

Here are just a few of the questions I posed to the perspective client in terms of getting them to think about the importance of diversity:

• Are you recruiting the very best talent from the widest possible candidate pool?
• Is every single employee valued as a member of the team for their unique talents and contributions so that each of them can perform at their peak capacity?
• Is each employee engaged such that there is not threat of them leaving the company because they feel isolated, disenfranchised or not part of the “in group”?
• Are you reaching all the diverse constituents you seek to serve and sell to?
• Do you have an excellent reputation across all the diverse communities in which you seek to sell, serve and recruit talent?

Most companies today have web pages that espouse corporate core values such as focusing on all customers, valuing all employees, contributing to the community, respecting all cultures, etc. Now they must expend the effort to develop and execute a strategic diversity initiative that truly supports these values within the context of the changing business environment.

Check out my diversity expertise (deep expertise in LGBT – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender as well as ability to handle comprehensive diversity strategy) since I could assist you in your diversity venture. And be looking for my next blog were I will discuss various types of diversity.