What do we mean when we say "Leadership and Diversity"?

What do we mean by "diversity"?

Diversity Of Thought | Vidya Spandana

For our society to move towards a more inclusive consciousness, diversity must be explored through thought and perspective, not by race or gender.

WATCH read ponder discuss extra

Diversity means a lot of different things

from the boyd article
The US can only function as a healthy democracy if we find a way to diversify our social connections, if we find a way to weave together a strong social fabric that bridges ties across difference. Right now, we are moving in the opposite direction with serious consequences.
Two contemporary trend lines can help us understand this.
  1. Self-segregation: how a personalized world is dividing Americans by danah boyd in the Guardian, 13 Jan 2017
  2. Then read China’s hidden crisis: The biggest obstacle to China’s rise is struggling rural children, a book review in The Economist, 21 January 2021

But don't just focus on China. Reflect on the situation in schooling in both North Carolina and in the USA as well.

  1. Go on to read How Diversity Makes Us Smarter by Katherine W. Phillips
Being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working.

watch READ ponder discuss extra

You don't have to read these unless you wish to, but we might touch upon them in conversation

anatomy class, UNC-CH/
  1. Williams, K. Y., & O'Reilly, I. I. I. C. A. (January 01, 1998). Demography and diversity in organizations: a review of 40 years of research. Research in Organizational Behavior, 20, 77.
    Don't necessarily read it all, but glance over it to get a sense for how it looked from the middle to the end of the previous century.
    ... the majority of research has been undertaken using one of three general theoretical frameworks: similarity/attraction, social categorization, or infor­mation/decision making. These approaches have been characterized by different assumptions about the role and effect of diversity and the modal way to conduct the research. Researchers in the three traditions either implicitly or explicitly accept a model that argues that group or organizational diversity can affect group processes such as social integration, communication, and conflict. Group functioning is then presumed to affect group outputs, including performance and the ability of the group to function effectively in the future ...
    Given the convincing evidence that diversity can have both positive and negative effects on group functioning and performance, at least three major unan­swered questions emerge. First, we need to understand in more detail how different types of diversity affect group process and performance ... A second important question concerns the nature of the conflict generated by diversity ... A third important gap in our understanding of diversity concerns how successful groups are able to leverage diversity.
  2. Catmull, E. (September 01, 2008). How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity. Harvard Business Review, 64.
    What’s equally tough, of course, is getting talented people to work effectively with one another. That takes trust and respect, which we as managers can’t mandate; they must be earned over time. What we can do is construct an environment that nurtures trusting and respectful relationships and unleashes everyone’s creativity. If we get that right, the result is a vibrant community where talented people are loyal to one another and their collective work ...
  3. And then for a slightly newer, and different, take on the topic of organizational diversity, read
    DIVERSITY: Teams Solve Problems Faster When They’re More Cognitively Diverse
    By Alison Reynolds and David Lewis in Harvard Business Review, 30 March 2017
    Received wisdom is that the more diverse the teams in terms of age, ethnicity, and gender, the more creative and productive they are likely to be. But having run the execution exercise around the world more than 100 times over the last 12 years, we have found no correlation between this type of diversity and performance ... (however their reseach shows) a significant correlation between high cognitive diversity and high performance ...

watch read PONDER discuss extra

things we'll talk about

  • in America, has the push for cultural, religious, ethnic, and gender diversity affected the way organizations recruit and hire new members?
  • is it an organization's responsibility to ensure that it is diverse?
  • how can organizations balance the need to recruit the best possible members with the need to recruit diverse members? or is it a false choice?
  • how can organizations prevent biases from influencing recruiting decisions?

or are we framing the discussion in an entirely incorrect manner?
What is our understanding of organizational diversity?

slides for session 19

watch read ponder DISCUSS extra

something to take away

Chan Chan

Compay Segundo live at L'Olympia in Paris, France, 1999

One of my last songs was "Chan Chan," which I wrote in 1987. I played it for the first time at a club called Cristino. It's a number that has four notes, and four chords. There's very few numbers that you can sing the whole song with four notes. I've been to Santa Clara-Las Villas province and everybody up there knows it; I've been to Santiago de Cuba y and everybody there knows it too. I go by a school and when a kid sees me, he says, "Look, it's Compay Segundo," and starts singing, "I'm going from Alto Cedro to Marcané then from Cueto, I'm going to Mayarí."

watch read ponder discuss EXTRA