Is diversity stalling?

By Louise - January 30, 2024

Perhaps there has never been a better time to examine the shape of our worldview and belief systems.

By  Louise Duncan, Managing Director TetraMap International 

I saw a headline for a Diversity & Inclusion Conference that grabbed my attention. We need to face facts: D&I is stalling. Woah that took me by surprise – although maybe that was the point. I read on and was given information on gender pay gaps, women on boards, and D&I professionals declining.  

Could D&I be stalling because focusing on diversity metrics isn’t the same as focusing on making diverse teams work?

More information, measurement and legislation will not change the facts. What needs to change is the system and the culture – so we embrace and VALUE the RICHNESS diversity provides in all its forms.  And, could it be that inclusion, belonging and equity BECOME the result of changing the system? 

Unlock The Richness 

Recently, our team had the pleasure of hosting guests who are studying in for an MBA here in New Zealand |Aotearoa. We’ll be working on a project together for several weeks.

In the room were people ranging in age from 30s to 60s and from Mauritius, India, Albania, China, Japan, England, South Africa, and Vietnam.

Imagine the RICHNESS of our shared experiences, and the VALUE our differences will bring to our shared table. 

  • We proudly shared the bi-cultural nature of this country and acknowledged its indigenous peoples – Māori.  We have adopted some Māori cultural protocols, such as starting the meeting with karakia ( a calming, presencing practice or blessing). 
  • We welcomed our visitors by hearing about the place they have come from, where they call home, and then facilitated an enjoyable, interactive, learning experience. 
  • Rather than immediately ‘talk business’ a better more meaningful route was to ask a simple question  Why Are You Like That?’  to allow people an opportunity to understand and value our differences in terms of behaviours and communication.  Through this tried and tested process, we were able to relax, and get to know each other.
  • Together, we enjoyed some laughs, and have ensured working as a team will be cohesive, productive and enjoyable. We have built trust, and have a common language to work through any problems or challenges that may occur as we work together on business opportunities.

Our relationship has quickly become a partnership.  
This is leveraging diversity, not measuring diversity.   

Different context, same strategy 

Across the world, another group were being hosted on a virtual course. Participants were from a Business School, a large consultancy, and several corporate organisations.

Their roles ranged from HR Manager, Learning Partner, Senior Facilitator, Consultant, Global Talent Manager, People Specialist and Business Trainer. This talented group came together from UK, Germany, Poland, Turkey, India and Ireland.

Their learning experience was centered around the facilitation of workshops that will include a Why Are You Like That? experience to  increase self awareness and catalyse the richness of diversity and wisdom that already exists in their participant groups and organisations. The workshop topics they will facilitate are around leadership, communication, sales, consulting, relationship or team building.

Examine your worldview 

Diversity Hands
By Rocketman on Pexels

Is diversity stalling? I don’t think so. Not in my worldview. 

Perhaps now is a good time to examine the shape of our worldview and belief systems. Is it based on easy to measure, divided, and compartmentalised tick boxing?  Or is it more like nature and human nature – hard to measure, messy, complex and incredibly smart?  

My experience is that you do need a system, and a process, albeit a clever and simple one – that can connect the dots and build relationships that values everyone and their uniqueness. Enter TetraMap (Tetra = 4 perspectives, Map = a geographical illustration) which shows us where we are on the map, and where we are in relation to others.

It’s a simple, fast self-assessment that helps illustrate our behavioral and communication preferences. AND also highlights our inter-dependencies. It shows WHY our diversity is important to everyone’s success. Nature is the metaphor that helps bridges our differences easily.

According to Simon Sinek, finding your WHY is the secret you need to unlock.
Why do you need diversity? Why is diversity important to you, your team, your leadership, your community, your organisation?

We can help you unlock the richness that exists in your team, organisation and perhaps importantly, begin with understanding yourself. It’s a great place to start!

“There are a lot of diversities, different professions, different religions, even different races, difference cultures. But if we go deeper, then all of us are members of the same human family.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Get in touch, lets start a conversation.

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