People come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In this globalized world, the complexity of any human interaction challenges the way that organizations integrate these different types of lifestyles. This diversity often comes in the form of race, gender, faith, age and even sexuality. But diversity can also include thoughts, beliefs, and skills.

Each business is different in its level of diversity, and when presented with diversity, must decide on the role that inclusion plays within the workplace. Will diversity be encouraged or will diversity limit connections? If the quest is for an inclusive work community here are a few things to consider.

Scarcity versus Abundance

Companies that struggle with diversity issues may be operating from a place of scarcity instead of abundance. When you fear differences, the perceived value of individuals becomes weakened. You create walls instead of inclusion for people within a community. Victor Frankl, in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, observed that people detained in concentration camps of the Holocaust either would share their last morsel or they would hoard their crumbs. Even though everyone was in the same horrific situation, each person had a choice as to how they would respond. This is not to say that work at a business compares to this situation, but rather Frankl’s observations of human nature, at a time of high stress, support the idea that each person has a choice for how to respond to the world with either abundance or scarcity even in the most trying times. When abundance is present, then diversity can become a strength. When scarcity is the situation, then diversity creates walls.

Broader Worldview

Another aspect of diversity is the ability of individuals to look at the broader viewpoints that are available in a more diverse workplace. The greater acceptance of the diversity, the larger the base of ideas and perspectives that are available in the creation of goals and a plan for the organization. Inclusiveness offers a greater chance for all viewpoints to be considered thereby giving the business a broader worldview of a situation or a plan. Companies with limited acceptance of diversity can take on us versus them mentality that hoards information and resources.

No Judgment of Good or Bad, or Wrong or Right

A strong corporate community builds upon the belief that, in your organization, there is no good or bad, or wrong or right, merely differences that play a role in creating the momentum of the business. A very subtle wording can change the work of the day from, “You can’t do this task right,” to “This job needs to be turned in on time.” One way of viewing the situation offers value driven work that identifies the work with the value of the person. The other view creates accountability for employees completing tasks and goals. Corporate communities that place energy on process and goals do not lose the time and energy that often goes to the blame game.

Open Creativity

As you cultivate your corporate community consider what role creativity plays in strengthening the foundation of your work community. Unique perspectives encourage creativity when there is a basis of acceptance and inclusiveness. Think of the last time you went to a brainstorming session, and the facilitator told you there were not stupid questions or ideas. Creativity was encouraged. Then you went back to work, and creativity was put aside for the work. Every day could be brainstorming day when a diverse and open workplace exists. When you incorporate creativity into the work environment, you offer employees the opportunity to unlock their mental imaginations. Instead of weighing down the company with locked minds, employees interlock to create a system of openness.

A business foundation that does not support the varied aspects of human quality may find the overall structure of work weakened by the weight of the people. When people lock away unique perspectives and qualities, then there is a decreased chance of connectivity, which translates into a fractured system. The challenge for a business is finding ways to create a corporate culture that encourages diversity in all its forms, including diversity of thinking, creating, and working. The value added for organizations who recognize the role of diversity in increasing success is productivity, engagement, and innovation. The stronger your connections, the sturdier your company.

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