Presentation on theme: "Building Sustainable Diversity – Delineating Form and Substance Presidents Retreat Minnesota State University, Mankato August 14, 2012 Robert A. Colbert."— Presentation transcript:
Building Sustainable Diversity – Delineating Form and Substance Presidents Retreat Minnesota State University, Mankato August 14, 2012 Robert A. Colbert
Benefits Of Diversity and Inclusion Ability to relate to larger population Increased working relationships and communications among group More contributors and participation to enrich perspectives Greater talent pool from which to choose Better reflection of community served
Moving Toward Sustainable Diversity Paraphrased – Usually when someone believes in a particular system, ideology or religion, their attitude becomes more and more a sharp angle pointing away from themselves. In our way, the point of the angle is always toward ourselves. Shunryu Suzuki
Outline – Building Sustainable Diversity Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion Questions to Ponder Redefining Diversity Hurdles to Diversity and Inclusion How Does Change and Variation Affect Us? Human Struggles with Change Differentiating Form and Substance Human Nature – Labels and Judgments A Deeper Look: Whos Making the Mistake Enriching the Diversity Discussion – Assessing Goals Examples of Simple Diversity Steps Diversity Take-Aways and Concluding Comments
Questions to Ponder From where does inhumanity toward one another primarily stem – human wickedness or weakness? Would an end to racism, sexism, or xenophobia end our inhumanity toward one another?
Redefining Diversity Diversity = Change Things differ; they are not the same Life is Change, Growth is Optional Karen Kaiser Clark Diversity is change, progress is optional!
Diversity & Inclusion Hurdles Distress with Change and Variation Challenges of Power Dynamics and Pressures Ignorance and Indifference Exclusion and Intolerance
How Does Change and Variation Affect Us? Diversity – Things differ; things are not the same; things change Human Perceptions and Interpretations Comfort/ReliefDiscomfort/Unease Opportunities – Conquer current discomforts Recognize new ways to go Learn and grow stronger Overcome status quo Threats – Sacrifice comfort and stability Face vulnerabilities Encounter unknown variables Confront unpredictable outcomes Actions and Reactions – Things we do and things we dont do
Human Struggles with Change Limited Time and Resources Anxieties and Insecurities Pressures Vulnerabilities ever-present in the workplace Large-eared Human (with tail)
Opening Exercise - Differences Question 1: Think of one quality that makes you unique from everyone else. How has it helped you in your profession or social life? Question 2: Think of one unique quality or personality trait that you admire about someone in the room. What makes this quality or trait so admirable? Question 3: Think of a circumstance or situation in which you felt separated from co- workers or friends? What caused this feeling? What does it rekindle now?
Differentiating Form and Substance Form – external (appearance, quantifiable characteristics) Identifiers – race, gender, sexuality, nationality, culture, age, size, religion, political affiliation, class Substance – internal (essential nature, qualifiable characteristics) Impressions – values, inspiration, character, compassion, convictions, disposition, experience, talents True diversity incorporates form and substance
Complementary Polarities Form Substance Symbol of Yin and Yang Both and versus Either or Form Substance
Along the Continuum Form Substance Labels Judgments
Human Nature – Labels and Judgments Humans apply labels (form; quantifiable characteristics) Neutral Humans apply judgments to labels (substance; qualifiable characteristics) Non-neutral Biased
Along the Continuum Form Substance Labels Judgments Relationships Perceptions
Labels and Judgments: Relationships and Perceptions Relationship (Label)Perception (Judgment) CompanionStrangerWittyDull FriendAdversaryTalentedOrdinary NeighborVisitorFriendlyUnsociable ResidentForeignerOutgoingReserved TeammateCompetitorCooperativeRebellious Co-WorkerSupervisorEnergeticLethargic
Human Nature – Labels and Judgments Humans apply labels (form; quantifiable characteristics) Neutral Humans apply judgments to labels (substance; qualifiable characteristics) Non-neutral Biased Judgments become detrimental when human dignity and virtue are doubted (i.e., better/less worthy than; more/less righteous than) Polarizing Establishes insiders and outsiders
Labels and Judgments – (Excerpt from 2010 Freakonomics Documentary)
Things that Bother You When Driving or Traveling in a Car
Driver makes turn without using turn signal Driver moves into your lane without using turn signal Driver weaves in and of traffic lanes Driver is unaware that turn signal is active Driver stays in passing lane but moves more slowly than surrounding traffic Driver tailgates too closely Driver does not notice when traffic light turns green Driver appears distracted in car (e.g., cell phone use) Driver stops first at 4-way sign, but waits for others to proceed thru intersection Things that Bother You When Driving or Traveling in a Car
Driver is unaware that turn signal has been active for blocks Driver: helpful neighbor Driver is in passing lane but moving more slowly than surrounding traffic Driver: reclusive community member Driver does not notice right away that traffic light has turned green Driver: person who appears of foreign descent Whos Making the Driving Mistake?
Enriching the Diversity Discussion – Quantifiable and Qualifiable Goals Quantifiable goals and expectations (form): What outputs do you anticipate? Increase of historically disadvantaged groups Qualifiable goals and expectations (substance): What outcomes do we anticipate? Increase of human values inherent in diversity and inclusion
Diversity – Outcomes Sought Quantitative (Objective) Increased number of persons from historically under-represented groups Greater ratio of diverse persons to total group or population Higher percentage of diverse persons in positions of power and authority Increased number of persons who are flexible and culturally proficient Measurable improvements in effectiveness and organizational results Qualitative (Subjective) Better and more timely decision-making (creative and rich input) Greater number of satisfied members, especially among under-represented groups (trust, contentment) Greater sense of team, community and organizational culture (collaboration) Ability to resolve conflicts and differences that create barriers (growth) Better understanding of individual roles in creating productive and wholesome environments (innovation, development)
Building Sustainable Diversity – Examples of Simple Steps Periodic recognition and rewards to those who champion diversity and inclusion within the organization (risk sharing) Regular communication of benefits to the organization from implemented diversity and inclusion steps Regular sharing of testimonials that celebrate personal benefits from diverse relationships and cross-cultural experiences within the organization
Sustaining Diversity & Inclusion Take-Aways More forms bring difference; but, they do not necessarily expand meaningful diversity. We cannot be satisfied with form as the outcome. To cultivate diversity, we must dig deeper, … aligning form and substance.
Concluding Points We must acknowledge the human condition. By understanding our shared limitations, we gain compassion and appreciation for others. We must minimize our human tendency to accept or reject others based on labels and judgments. We must create and use tools that safeguard our ability to take risks with others: reaching beyond the familiar to embrace change and variation.