Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Power of Diversity

Diversity of group is often seen as a big hinderance to achieve organisational goals.Many leaders are of oppsosite opinion ,they feel that diversity can be used as a powerful tool for harnessing and enriching talent. V.M Cramer in his recent article titled "The Power of Diversity" highlights how great leaders can turn the diversity disadvantage to great advantage.

Improving Leadership in the Age of Diversity

Paramount to a leader’s success is the ability to establish a group’s identity, influence its behavior and build its collective confidence. Employing psychometric methods has facilitated these goals. By having “knowledge” of the types of people that are on a team, the leader’s ability to guide and direct increases. However, in today’s diverse corporations, leaders must also be navigators, seeking unfiltered information and perspective.

Individuals can possess leadership qualities, and then acquire the skills to become effective leaders. However, a leader cannot possibly possess the requisite insight to the dark energy within the members of a diverse team. No one can possibly know each individual’s unique talents and insights. Therefore, leaders must develop progressive leadership skills, specifically designed to maximize the contribution of all team members. As we learned in high school science, energy has two forms: potential and kinetic. Corporations must activate the potential locked within their diverse workforces and release the kinetic energy to improve corporate performance.

An Empowering Operating Environment

To realize the full potential of this energy, we must view diversity as if it were the fuel powering a nuclear reactor. The energy must be released and it must be directed toward an objective. Individuality requires a new workgroup process that maximizes the effects of potential energy in the decision-making and problem-solving process.

Leadership training programs must expand their scope and curriculum. Leaders must focus on the unrealized asset value that lies within diverse organizations. Diversity can then be recognized and leveraged for its tactical and strategic asset value.

Executives must replace the decision-making reactors and bring them on-line before any more dark energy is wasted.

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