Home > discrimination, diversity > Beyond Diversity: Becoming a Culturally Competent Organization

Beyond Diversity: Becoming a Culturally Competent Organization

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There is an interesting article in the 2007 IVEY Business Journal. It is called, “Diversity: Becomig a Culturally Competent Organization”.   The article details the diversity initiative of BMO, one of Canada’s largest financial firms.  What is interesting is how the firm utilized a focus on Equal Opportunity and then built it’s diversity initative around the four core diversity components that I have discussed in prior presentations.  Those four are mind-set, team, system, and leadership.  To have a successful diversity initiative each one of these areas have to be addressed in a specific and context-driven manner.

Of course, as I have stated numerous times unless a company first emphasizes the Equal Opportunity function first there is almost no chance of the respective company achieving diversity success.  EO is the foundation and driving force of a successful diversity initiative.  The EO perspective should be focused on instilling respect, opportunity, and fairness within the framework of the organization.  Once these perspectives are accomplished it is easier for employees to become engaged in the “higher level” motivational pushes that most companies apply to improve their diversity posture.

Take Away:

  • Successful diversity initiatives first emphasize the importance of Equal Opportunity.  They do this by focusing on respect, fairness, and opportunity
  • There are four core diversity components that must be addressed and involved to ensure success. They are leadership, mind-set, team-work, and systems
  • The three goals of diversity should be to combat bias, establish accountability, and create motivated networks that are energized to achieve organizational goals.

read article here

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  1. August 12, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I really enjoyed reading about how their sales staff has access to a “world calendar” listing all of the different holidays and days of religious observation so their sales staff does not make calls on those dates. Most companies don’t focus on such things; it really shows they care about more than just making money, but also helping to create a feeling of mutual respect and understanding.

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