This year is the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I was on the committee that wrote that legislation.
Diversity is most important for business, the economy and quality of life. I have conducted many diversity audits of companies. I have seen corporate America embrace diversity in many practices, including the workforce and suppliers.
Several years ago, we realized that specialized positioning and communications are necessary for social harmony and a global economy. We are a diverse population, and the same ways of communicating do not have desired effects anymore.
Diversity is about so much more than human resources issues. It means making the most of the organization that we can. It means being anything that we want to be. Diversity is not about quotas and should never be perceived as imposed punishment. By taking stock and planning creatively, then we can and will embody diversity.
The premise of multicultural diversity is ambitious and necessary to achieve. It is a mindset that must permeate organizations from top-down as well as bottom-up. If not pursued in a sophisticated, sensitive way, good intentions will be wasted.
The following pointers are offered to companies who communicate with niche publics:
- Seek and train multi-cultural professionals.
- Contribute to education in minority schools… assuring that the pipeline of promising talent can rise to challenges of the workforce.
- Design public relations programs that embrace multicultural constituencies, rather than secondarily appeal to them after the fact.
- Interface with community based groups, sharing in activities and civic service… to learn how communications will be received.
- Realize that minority groups are highly diverse. Not every Asian knows each other, nor speaks the same language. There are as many subtle differences in every ethnic group as the next. Thus, multicultural communicating is highly customized.
- Realize that multi-cultural communications applies to all. Black professionals do not just participate in African American community events. Cultivate communicators toward cross-culturization.
- As media does a good job of showcasing multicultural events, note it positively. If thanked enough, media will continue to shine the light on multicultural diversity.
- Sophistication in the gauging of public opinion will result in a higher caliber of communicating. The demands of an ever-changing world require that continuous improvement be made. Attention paid to writing and graphics quality will enhance the value of multicultural communications.
The old theory was that society is a Melting Pot. That philosophy evolved to the Salad Bowl concept. In either, one element still sinks to the bottom. We must now see it as a Mosaic or Patchwork Quilt. Each element blends and supports others. Diversity is a continuing process where we keep the elements mixed.
People believe that they are now thinking differently and creatively about diversity issues. In truth, they are really rearranging their existing prejudices. To be diverse and united, societies must be sealed with common purposes.
We can be diversified and unified at the same time. We can remain culturally diversified. We still can and should work together as a society. We all hold cultural values. One set is not better than another.
Look at the issues and how they affect the total person. Actions are always required. Good intentions and political correctness are not enough.
It is short sighted to ignore changes in society. It is good business to recognize opportunities for practice development. In the Chinese culture, every crisis is first recognized as a danger signal and always as an opportunity for overcoming obstacles.
Every professional must embrace a set of ethics:
- Things for which each professional holds himself/herself accountable.
- Holds benchmarks for Continuous Quality Improvement.
- Realistically attainable goals.
- Contains mechanisms to teach and mentor others.
- Continually re-examines and adds to the list.
There are many good reasons why diversity relates to your livelihood:
- Embracing diversity is politically correct.
- Society will make increasing demands that you address these issues.
- It makes good business sense.
- It opens your services to additional market niches.
- It embodies the spirit of open communications, the basis of winning companies.
- This process creates more job opportunities for multicultural professionals.
- And it is the right thing to do.
Quotes About Diversity
“What is food to one is to another bitter poison.”
“Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.”
William Cowper, The Task
“Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy.”
Mao Tse-tung (1956)
“No pleasure lasts long unless there is variety to it.”
“It were not best that we should all think alike. It is difference of opinion that makes horse races.”
“Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices. Just recognize them.”
Edward R. Murrow (1955)
“Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day.”
“When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”
President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), honoring poet Robert Frost at Amherst College
About the Author
Power Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.
Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.