From the recruitment process, global organizations deal with diversity from different perspectives that include corporate and legal requirements. Sometimes compliance overshadows performance, and meeting standards or regulations become the “roof” instead of the bottom-line for performance. Although there are organizations that truly look forward to enriching themselves from diversity, most of the time they fail to achieve innovation as a diversity outcome. To understand the relationship between both and how organizations can not only nurture themselves from outside diversity but also promote it from within, is key not only to bring innovation but also to prevent organizational fragility.

Who made who?

In nature there is a very interesting cycle between diversity and innovation, due to the former exists because of the latter, but diversity itself is a source of innovation not only in life but also organizations. Diversity exists due to different locations, businesses and areas, but above all because of people and their different way of doing things. As in nature, isolation allowed each group of people to evolve separately and to develop their “way of doing” which is innovative due to its uniqueness. Then, comparing outcomes versus expectations, each organization will select which is its “best way” through standardization but in the process not only diversity but also the innovation capacity might be diminished just like it happens in nature.

The “organizational selection” effect

Innovation expresses in nature through variability which is the way life try out to do things in a different, its creativity. As in companies, natural selection is a process of standardization of what is the “best way” for a determined place and time which might not be the case in another ones. When there is too much standardization, life becomes fragile because it loses its capacity to adapt to change and the same happens to organizations. Although technology and processes tend to be global and standard, people are still local and by nature diverse. Through “organizational selection” this key source of variability which drives innovation can be severely reduced because of the cultural fit. Although people can have different races and backgrounds, if they think and act just the same there won`t be “effective diversity” to drive innovation and prevent organizational fragility.

Organizations nurtured by and who promote diversity

Diversity is outside and inside the organization and to be able to nurture from outside diversity and to promote it from within, is an opportunity to develop a competitive advantage. Through talent attraction, selection and the onboarding, organizations can bring “diverse new talents” who not only fulfils the job description but also can enrich their teams with a new way of thinking and doing things. Talent development allows the organization to promote diversity from within by cultivating team members’ uniqueness preventing homogeneity of profiles. Performance management increases engagement through daily “huddle” meetings, coaching and feedback. Ultimately, keeping diversity within an organization will rely on how much people can create through their work and express their uniqueness in the workplace, which as results will bring not only innovation but also a more resilient and sustainable organization.

Marcelo Sauro is an internationally experienced performance and improvement senior manager. He holds an Executive MBA and Master of Science degrees and has helped people and organizations to transform themselves. Not only he led E2E transformations in Global Business Services, R&D, Supply Chain and Finance organizations at all levels within the LATAM and EMEA Regions, but he is also experienced in several industries including Life Science, Healthcare, Insurance, Fintech, Technology, Telecoms, FMCG, Chemicals, Automotive, Energy and Mining. Since 2015, he has been researching and developing content in agile and resilience through Value Ways, while working under contract for customers such as MetLife, Novartis, Vertiv (Emerson NP) and Experian among others. Previously, he worked for more than 7 years as Master Black Belt for a LATAM-based consulting group, which had ASQ, Qualtec and Oriel as business partners. Prior to that, he worked for more than 10 years at BASF and GSK in positions of growing responsibility in the area of Operational Excellence. Marcelo is currently working at Ferring's “International PharmaScience Center” (IPC) for the Global R&D organization in Copenhagen. To find out more please visit www.value-ways.com.

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