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How Diversity, Wealth And Innovation Are Inter-Related-Include A Plan To Address Diversity And Inclusion Within A Global Organization.
In order to address the issue, it is imperative to demonstrate the link between diversity, innovation and wealth. Diversity is an acknowledgement that through primary socialisation and subsequent experiences, individuals are unique-the key issues with having a team constructed of identical individuals or those with a similar mind-set is that the likelihood of anyone thinking outside the parameters expressed as the norm by that group are significantly reduced. Consequently, the production of novel concepts, both physical and theoretical are reduced by direct proportionality. The significance of mutualism in diversity is apparent when one considers the formation of an endosymbiont relationship by which innovation in individuals becomes compounded when they work in conjunction with other individuals, both contributing to the net output by an increase in creativity-where one individuals ideas are taken and improved by another individual, whose improved ideas are then improved by the original individual and so ad infinitum.
In order to generate wealth in a business perspective, it is imperative to be innovative. This concept can be demonstrated using many examples e.g. the mobile phone model. A manufacturer can release a model of mobile phone that is unsurpassed on all fields. That being the case it would be not unreasonable to assume that the product would become the market leader and effectively monopolise the market, never having to release another model. In reality, as soon as another manufacturer releases a new model, even if this model is inferior, a section of the market is automatically lost. Manufacturers effectively may lose money by not releasing a new model. According to Johnson, (2011), this model of market competition is calledÂ the “Monopolistic Competitive” Model in which models must be similar. Consumers’ preference is based on individual perception of dissimilarities. The market is “monopolistic” as there exists a brand loyalty-consumers will purchase based upon nominal price difference.
Singer et al., (2008) described the effects of diversity on the banking industry and its subsequent globalisation. Banking was traditionally localised to physical entities until the onset of online banking. Hirji (2006) wrote about the effects of diversity on the Royal Bank of Canada for whom diversity provides a significant competitive edge in the development of intellectual capital and maintaining/enhancing its global position. This was advocated in an earlier report calling for capture of the benefits of the already diverse demographic of employees by inviting extant members of the workforce from minority groups and ensuring their input was not lost. This report speculated that by not maximising the potential of these subsections of employees, the cost to the national economy could exceed $13 billion.
Walker (2013) discussed three factors concerning innovation-that all novel concepts are rearrangements of existing concepts that may not be apparently successful, those that are, appear obvious in hindsight, innovators are more susceptible to experimentation and that teams expressing diversity are far more innovative. Dillon et al., (2005) described innovation as the principal foundation for the creation of wealth and that significant economic value is derived from innovative concepts which impact customer value.
According to Etuka (2009), members of the team that contribute different specialities to the table, tend to have the effect of causing other team members to increase their performance in order to be seen to be equally or more innovating. As diversity produces different specialities or abilities, an improved environment is created with each team member bouncing ideas and building interdependencies with other team members. Rationally, a diverse working environment promotes this inter-employee reliance to flourish among the workforce, leading to greater levels of job satisfaction reducing retention issues, easing recruitment issues and maintaining a high level core of trained productive staff.
In conclusion, diversity is directly proportional to innovation and innovation is directly proportional to sales. Increased sales mean increased profits ergot wealth.
A plan to increase Diversity in a global organisation
- Develop and implement an equal opportunity employment policy and ensure that all staff that perform interviews are trained and competent regarding the organizations diversity program and are fully aware of the reasons and rationale behind it. Additionally, audit interviewers concerning appointments relative to diversity to ascertain if there are apparent patterns
- Include a diversity element within the statutory and mandatory training and competency packages within the organization. Additionally, create a mentoring program by which new staff are attached to an established senior member of staff on an informal basis. This will allow two way communications and assist in the identification of issues and facilitate transfer of culture.
- Develop a clear organizational structure which may be difficult in a flat organization however it is imperative in order to encourage retention by demonstrating clear path of possible progress by promotion-give each stage a clear job description including essential and desirable criteria in order to encourage development of staff within the organizational structure.
- Design and instigate an exit interview program to audit reasons for leaving and adjust working practices if practical, to reduce loss of diversity through retention issues.
Dillon, T., Lee, R., Matheson, D. (2005). Value innovation: passport to wealth creation. Research Technology Management; Arlington48.2(Mar/Apr 2005): 22-36.
Etuka, J., (2009). Diversity: The art of innovation. Training Journal; London (Sep 2009): 54-57.
Hirji, Z., (2006). Growth and innovation rests on diversity. Canadian HR Reporter; Toronto19.22 (Dec 18, 2006): 18,21.
Johnson, W. (2011). How do monopolistically competitive market firms make price & output decisions? Retrieved March 25, 2017, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/monopolistically-competitive-market-firms-make-price-output-decisions-15584.html
Singer, D., Avery, A., Baradwaj, B., (2008). Management innovation and cultural adaptivity in international online banking. Management Research News; Patrington31.4 (2008):
Walter, L., (2013). AIHce 2013: Diversity Drives Innovation. EHS Today; New York (May 20, 2013).
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