Great Business Ideas: Diversity

Great Small Business Ideas to Start: Diversity

To remain competitive in an increasingly global society, you need to have a diverse range of employees working at all levels. Diversity is about difference; companies that bring to bear different experiences and perspectives stand a greater chance of success in an increasingly global market than those that cannot.

The idea

Society is far from homogeneous; with steep increases in the popularity of global trade, this also applies to the majority of industries and markets. Embracing a diverse approach helps attract and retain the most skilled employees, and will allow your company to benefit from a varied pool of ideas and experiences. It is a necessary step in enabling your company to relate to, communicate with, and service a diverse range of customers. Diversity also has strong links with increased productivity, innovative thinking, and lowered risks.

Seeking to reconcile the relationship between the marketplace and the workplace, IBM created a Global Diversity Council to deal with issues such as multicultural awareness and tolerance, advancement of women, integration of people with disabilities, and creating a diverse managerial team. J. T. Childs, vice president of the Global Workforce for Diversity, commented, “Leadership for diversity at the top remains an IBM tradition.” By embracing this idea, your organization can reflect the diversity of the markets it serves, and show commitment to a more diverse, valuable, and enduring group of customers.

In practice

  • If you have a diverse workforce but a homogeneous group of top-level decision makers, your organization will not benefit fully from diversity. Top-level commitment and example are vital.
  • Find ways to encourage a culture of inclusion, respect, and communication among all employees.
  • Use yourself as a role model within the business for successfully dealing with diversity.
  • Recognize the difference between superficial diversity (eg differences in gender and ethnicity) and deep-level diversity (eg differences in knowledge and differences in values).
    Encourage your organization to embrace both types of diversity.
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