Diversity Management – Udo Glücks

GUEST POST from Udo Glücks.


All infelicities and inaccuracies in the translation into English below are solely my responsibility. -Katherine


Diversity Management – Erfolgreiche Unternehmenskultur mit Herz und Verstand
den Menschen im Blick

– Wandel und Wachstum durch Vielfalt

Wo genau beginnt erfolgreiches Diversity Management?
Die Erfahrungen aus der Führungspraxis haben gezeigt: Das Management der Vielfalt beginnt bei der Top-Führungskraft im Top-Level Management. Noch spezifischer: Bei der persönlichen Einstellung und der jeweiligen Haltung der Entscheider – und der einzelnen Mitarbeiter.

Führungskräfte sind immer und auf jede Weise Vorbilder für ihre Mitarbeiter. Durch Ihr Vorbild prägen sie die Unternehmenskultur in entscheidendem Maße. Gerade heute bedeutet es eine große Herausforderung, Führungskraft zu sein, denn die Anforderungen an Rolle und Aufgabe haben sich geändert: Es reicht nicht mehr aus, in seinem fachlichen Gebiet “mehr zu können” als andere. In der heutigen Ära der Führungskultur sind menschliche, emotionale Kompetenz, sowie pädagogisches und psychologisches Know-how zu Gesprächs- und Beziehungsgestaltung und Menschenführung ebenso bedeutsam.

Neben der strategischen und operativen Führung und der Gestaltung von Veränderungen, haben verantwortungsbewusste Manager die Mitarbeiter als Menschen im Blick. Sie sehen auch das Zwischenmenschliche als Ihre Chefsache an und überlassen diesen Bereich nicht (nur) Ihrer Personalabteilung. Sie unterstützen vielmehr ihr Personalmanagement durch Ihr persönliches Vorbild z.B. aktiv dabei:

  • personelle Vielfalt zu fördern und zu nutzen
  • die unterschiedlichen Potentiale und Talente zu erkennen und zu entwickeln auch Querdenker ins Team zu holen
  • heterogene Teams zu bilden
  • Mitarbeiter nach ihren Stärken und Fähigkeiten auszuwählen und einzusetzen offene Hierarchien vorzuleben und einzuführen
  • offenes Feedback zu praktizieren
  • eine Führungskultur auf Augenhöhe zu verwirklichen
  • dauerhafte Über- und Unterforderung mit gesundheitlichen Beeinträchtigungen bis hin zum Burnout zu vermeide

Die Zeiten von Befehl und Ausführung sind vorbei
Die erfolgreiche Führungskultur von heute ist von Vertrauen und Partnerschaft geprägt und geschieht auf Augenhöhe. Es geht dabei vor allem um:

  • das Fördern heterogener Teamarbeit und deren intelligente Nutzung
  • eine offene Feedback -und Diskussionskultur, in der Kritik und Anregungen von Mitarbeitern willkommen sind
  • eine wertschätzende Haltung und Kommunikation auf Augenhöhe
  • gemeinsames, lebenslanges Lernen

Schnell geraten Führungskräfte durch diese innovative Art der Führung aber auch an die persönlichen Grenzen ihrer vorhandenen Kompetenz und ihrer persönlichen Motivation. Führungskräfte sollten sich daher erlauben, diese ihre Möglichkeiten und Grenzen sehr genau anzusehen um dann in einem zweiten Schritt, ihre Einstellung zu überprüfen und ihre Führungskompetenzen weiter auszubauen.

Nachhaltige Veränderungen beginnen bekanntlich mit dem ersten Schritt – und mit den Personen, die diesen Schritt tun. Es bewegt sich schon sehr viel, wenn dieser erste Schritt im Top-Management gegangen wird. Eine innovative und charismatische Führungspersönlichkeit ist für diesen persönlichen, oftmals sehr herausfordernden Entwicklungsprozess, auf einen kompetenten Feedbackgeber und Sparringspartner an seiner Seite angewiesen.

Wertschöpfung durch Diversity Management
Mischwälder sind gesünder und lebendiger – eine Diversity Management-Kultur auch. Eine gesunde Unternehmenskultur auf der Basis von Vielfalt möchte ich vergleichen mit einem starken, natürlichen und lebendigen Mischwald. Dieser ist widerstandfähiger und wertvoller als ein homogener, nur zu rein wirtschaftlichem Nutzen hochgezüchteter Wald. In Deutschland kennen wir leider auch solche Fichten- und Kiefernwälder, die eng und homogen gepflanzt wurden (besonders aus Zeiten der DDR-Planwirtschaft). Diese homogenen Pflanzungen verhalten sich nun, in die Jahre gekommen, wie Streichholzwälder, die bei Sturm schnell einknicken und sehr anfällig für Krankheiten sind.

Heute haben die Verantwortlichen wieder damit begonnen, heterogener, vielfältiger zu pflanzen. Mit gutem Erfolg! Der Wald wird stabiler, langlebiger und gesunder. Willst Du ein starkes, lebendiges Unternehmen, dann pflanze es mit vielfältigen, unterschiedlichen, Individuen. Dazu gehört dann auch der wertschätzende, respektvolle Umgang mit jeder einzelnen Person. Hierbei geht es zuerst immer um die eigene persönliche Einstellung und Haltung gegenüber unterschiedlichen Menschen und deren unterschiedlichen Beliefs.

Im Umgang mit Individuen genügt nur das individuelle Verstehen.” C. G. Jung

Teamentwicklung beeinflusst den Finanzerfolg
Eine Metaanalyse hat ergeben: Von allen Veränderungsstrategien beeinflusst Teamentwicklung den Finanzerfolg am stärksten. “Teams mit Menschen, die sich in ihren Kenntnissen, Fähigkeiten, Sicht- und Herangehensweisen unterscheiden, können komplexe Probleme besser lösen als homogene Gruppen, die oftmals zu kollektiven Scheuklappen neigen.”, schreibt Peter Kinne, Dozent an der FOM-Hochschule für Ökonomie und Management und Geschäftsführer von Balancefirst Management Services.

Diversity Management nicht von oben verordnen
Man sollte Diversity Management nicht von oben einführen und verwirklichen wollen, um einem Trend zu folgen und in zu sein. Man sollte D.M. auch nicht verwirklichen wollen, ohne zuvor die dafür nötigen Strukturen zu schaffen und eine gemeinsame Vision und Mission zu entwickeln. Diversity Management muss man wirklich und aus Überzeugung wollen. Der Prozess des D.M. ist sicherlich mit viel Aufwand und hohem persönlichen Einsatz verbunden. Der Aufwand aber lohnt sich!

Motivation, Vision und die konkreten Veränderungsziele sollten dabei nicht zuerst im Kopf, sondern im Herzen der Entscheider geboren und verankert sein. Auf dem weiteren Entwicklungs-Weg braucht es dann Geduld, Verständnis, die Fähigkeit, Mitarbeiter liebevoll mit ins Boot zu nehmen und Entscheidungen immer nur mit den Mitarbeiter zu treffen.

Urheber: Udo Glücks, 2016


 

Diversity Management – A Successful Business Culture Combines Heart and Soul with Intellect and Reason
– People Perspective
– Transformation and Growth Through Diversity

Where does successful Diversity Management start?
Experience and leadership best practices have shown that Diversity Management begins at the top, with leadership from the C-suite. More specifically, Diversity Management begins with an alignment of attitudes and behavior – those of the leadership and of each individual employee.

A company’s leadership team always serves as a role model for the company’s employees. Through their example, they create the momentum critical for building a pro-diversity corporate culture. To be a leader in today’s world is a tremendous challenge as the demands of the role and the skills needed to fulfill these demands have changed. It is no longer sufficient to be more knowledgeable than your colleagues in your specialty area. In today’s leadership culture, emotional and interpersonal competencies are just as important; good leaders use their pedagogical and psychological know-how to improve their interactions and enhance their relationships.

In addition to strategic and operational leadership and change management, responsible managers keep the needs of their direct reports as people in mind. They make the relations between people their top priority rather than leaving this task solely to HR. Such leaders encourage their employees by being role models who actively:

  • encourage and utilize the diversity of their personnel
  • recognize these differing talents and help employees develop their potential
  • add unconventional thinkers to their teams
  • build heterogeneous teams
  • recruit and appoint team members based on their strengths and skills
  • exemplify and implement openness across the company hierarchy
  • offer forthright feedback
  • create leadership cultures that put everyone on equal terms
  • work to avoid the adverse health effects (including burnout) that can result from long-term engagement in overly challenging or insufficiently challenging work activities

The days of orders and commands are over
A successful leadership culture is marked by trust and partnership and happens when people are on equal terms. In particular this involves:

  • promotion and intelligent use of heterogeneity on team tasks
  • a culture that allows for open feedback and discussion and where constructive criticism and the suggestions of team members are welcomed
  • an appreciative attitude and a communication style that puts everyone on equal terms
  • lifelong learning for all

However this innovative style of leadership can quickly take people to the edge of their existing level of expertise and tax their motivation. Leaders should therefore take a close look at their capabilities and their limits. Then, as a second step, they should examine their attitudes in order to develop their leadership skills further.

It’s commonly recognized that sustainable change begins with taking the first step and also with the person who is taking that step. Because of this, it is much more persuasive if the first step comes from top management. To succeed at what is most often a very challenging development process, even innovative and charismatic leaders need to have experienced sparing partners to provide them with feedback.

Added value through Diversity Management
Mixed forests are healthier and more full of life and so are cultures that put into practice Diversity Management. A healthy organizational culture based on diversity can be compared to a strong, natural and vital mixed forest. Such a forest is hardier and of greater value than a more homogeneous one which has been fashion on solely economic grounds. Unfortunately here in Germany, we are all too familiar with such closely planted, homogeneous fir and pine forests (particularly from the time of the planned economy of the DDR). These homogeneous plantings are like match stick forests: quickly uprooted in a storm and very susceptible to disease.

We are beginning to take responsibility for planting something more diverse and heterogeneous. And with this has come real success! The forests are becoming more resilient, long-lived and healthy. When you want a strong, vibrant organization, then “plant” it with diverse individuals. This naturally requires the appreciative and respectful treatment of every single person. It’s primarily a question of leaders’ personal attitudes and their behavior toward different people and their differing beliefs.

Im Umgang mit Individuen genügt nur das individuelle Verstehen.” – C.G. Jung

To understand an individual requires an individual understanding.”

Team development influences financial success
A meta-analysis has shown that of all the change strategies available, team development has the greatest impact on the bottom line. “Teams whose members have different knowledge bases, skills, perspectives and approaches can solve complex problems more effectively than homogeneous ones, who often have their collective blinders on,” according to Peter Kinne, Lecturer at the FOM School for Economics and Management and managing director and founder of Balancefirst Management Services.

Diversity Management cannot simply be decreed from the top
Diversity Management is not something that can be decreed from on high in order to follow a trend or to be “in.” Neither should Diversity Management be introduced without first establishing the necessary structures and developing a common vision and mission. Diversity Management requires true conviction. The process of Diversity Management is unquestionably associated with serious effort and a high degree of personal commitment. However, the effort is worth it!

Motivation, vision and concrete goals for change begin with and are anchored not in the head, but rather in the heart of those who undertake Diversity Management. The road to development requires leaders to have patience, understanding and to take on board the talents of their staff and include them in the decision making process at all times.

© Udo Glücks, 2016, translation © Katherine W Hirsh, 2016

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Diversity Management – Udo Glücks

Off to a promising start: Goals that build in pleasure, productivity and proficiency

Having wrapped up the series on You Don’t Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right, I want to introduce you to my next Inspiration Shout-Out, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink. While I purchased this book several years ago, it was only late last year that I sat down to read it. When I finished, I wondered what I might have done differently in my personal life and in my work if I had read it sooner.

As the title declares, the key idea Pink wants to get across is that the things that truly motivate us may not be those that are conventionally are touted as such. Moreover, many of what he refers to as “Motivation 2.0” approaches would appear to reduce or inhibit sustained curiosity, effort and imagination, and thereby undermine our natural drive toward pleasure, productivity and proficiency.

“The problem with making an extrinsic reward the only destination that matters is that some people will choose the quickest route there, even if it means taking the low road.”

p. 51

If our motivation influences the path we take, then we need to craft a motivational approach, for ourselves and for those we lead or with whom we interact, such that we establish an environment that promotes effort, engagement and autonomy. With this in mind, here are several questions to ask yourself about your strategy for becoming and staying motivated:

  • How can we create goals such that they engage our internal wellspring of motivation: building competence, enhancing our sense of meaning and purpose, and fostering happiness?
  • How can we avoid distracting ourselves with quick fixes, short-term gains, addictive repetition or settling for what’s easy rather than what’s possible?
  • How can we make the activities needed to reach our goals so rewarding that we don’t just reach these goals, but instead far exceed them out of pure enjoyment?

“Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one’s sights and pushing toward the horizon.”

p. 58

Where have you set your sights? How are you motivating yourself? Are the rewards you’ve selected taking you along a route that stimulates creativity, innovation, integrity and taking initiative?


Pink, Daniel. (2009). Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. NY: Riverhead.

Creative Commons License
The Diversity Dividend by Katherine W Hirsh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Off to a promising start: Goals that build in pleasure, productivity and proficiency

Educating our palates about development

‎At first blush the German words der Korkenzieher – “the corkscrew” – and der Erzieher – ” the educator” – would seem to have little in common other than their spellings. But break them down into their parts and there is an interesting connection: they both have to do with “bringing something up.” In the corkscrew case, that something is a cork and the “bringing up” is quite concrete. In the educator case, that something is a person or people and the “bringing up” refers to the more abstract notion of “raising” or “pulling” those people up to a higher level – be it intellectual, social, emotional, physical, behavioral, etc.

There are two things I like about this connection. First, when you think about educating as being like using a corkscrew, it implies that development is unlikely to be linear: there will be twists and turns and you will come to the same place repeatedly, but as you grow you navigate this place with a greater level of skill or ease. Thus the corkscrew model of development operates from within a growth mindset (click here for an engaging piece where Carol Dweck describes her model of mindset). There is no set endpoint and you have no limit to how far you can “pull yourself up” other than that of your own vision, your own commitment and the level of energy you bring to imagining that vision and enacting that commitment.

Contrast this with a fixed mindset. You have a gift, characteristic or skill. Or you don’t. With this mindset, your vision is limited and your energy and commitment drain away when you hit that first switchback. Because under a fixed mindset, if bringing that cork up to another level isn’t easy or you can’t make it happen perfectly the first time, then you can’t really have the gift. And if you are the educator or Erzieher with this mindset, you may believe the differences between your charges are evidence for hard-wired limits on their potential and as a result you may not even attempt to “bring them up.”

Second as you consider how an educator and a corkscrew are alike, imagine a sommelier wielding a corkscrew, ready to open a bottle of wine. The wine is presented to the customer with respect. Time is taken to look, smell and taste (and even to describe the “feel” in the mouth); to consider and then detail the wine’s stellar and signature qualities. The process of opening the wine is seen as important because the contents are seen to be important. What if we as educators wielded our tools to make the learning process one that respected all learners and found just the right way to “bring them up” to a new level? What if we took the time to discern the distinctive and special talents of all our colleagues, clients and significant others? If we were to focus not on what is lacking but rather on what there is for us to learn and on how we might learn it best? Uncorking such rare vintages would allow us to drink deeply of the diversity dividend.

Creative Commons License
The Diversity Dividend by Katherine W Hirsh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Portions of this piece appeared in Pull out all the stops, 25/11/2015 http://earthquakewords.com/2015/11/25/pull-out-all-the-stops/ ‎

Educating our palates about development

Extending the gift of love – to ourselves

On Feb 14th many people will be celebrating Valentine’s Day – a day on which we send cards, flowers and chocolates to let the important people in our lives know that we love them. As I reflected on this holiday in light of Hirschfield’s last three chapters – chapter 8 “Learning That You Don’t Have to Disconnect Because You Disagree,” chapter 6 “A Person’s a Person, No Matter How Small: Talking About the Things That Matter Most in the Way That Hurts the Least,” and chapter 10 “Footprints of the Messiah: Turning Our Deepest Dreams into an Everyday Reality” – which focus on staying connected, both to others and to our dreams, it struck me that Valentine’s Day would mean so much more if it were extended.

What if we imagined a celebration that involved giving the gift of love to ourselves and to humanity in general, with a particular emphasis on those parts of ourselves we see as the least valid or likable or those individuals/groups with whom we have fundamental disagreements? It is difficult to truly love another if we don’t cherish our whole selves. I believe that the three quotes below identify the hurdles we face and at the same time suggest ways to surmount them.

Without a level of self-understanding that encompasses our strengths and our inadequacies, it is challenging to step into the shoes of another.

“I began to realize that until I was ready to confront myself, I had no business confronting anyone else–that prayer, whatever else it was, was an exercise in that confrontation with who I was and who I wanted to be.”

p. 195

Without careful scrutiny of the assumptions that underlie our worldview, it is hard to recognize that our evaluations – positive and negative, of self and others – while authentic, are only based on partial information.

“[I]t may be that what you saw was not all that there was to see. It may be that you are confusing honesty and integrity with accuracy and completeness.”

pp. 245-246

Without a willingness to accept that people, ourselves included, make mistakes, it is tough to share feedback in a way that comes from a place of love and makes possible transformation.

“Even when punishment is required, it is designed to change a specific behavior or attitude, not to strip a person of his or her power or independence, or to change who he or she is.”

p. 223

I want to close this entry and this series of Inspiration Shout-Outs with a quote from the final page of the main text of You Don’t Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right. The set of questions posed in this quote can be the basis for making every day a day a Valentine’s Day where the expressions of love are directed inward, to yourself, as well as outward, to significant others in your life and to the world more generally.

“In what ways was I the person I most longed to be today? What helped me to get there? In what ways did I fall short? What do I need in my life in order to do better?”

p. 248

Creative Commons License
The Diversity Dividend by Katherine W Hirsh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Extending the gift of love – to ourselves

More isn’t always better

Something’s better than nothing, yes!
But nothing’s better than more, more, more
[Except all, all, all]
Except all, all, all
Except once you have it all [have it all]
You may find all else above [find all else above]
That though things are bliss,
There’s one thing you miss, and that’s
More! More!
More! More! More! More!
More! More! More!
Stephen Sondheim http://www.lyrics.net/lyric/19613933

The folk wisdom captured in these lyrics from Stephen Sondheim suggests that you can never have too much of anything: if a little bit of something is good, more must be even better. However more of the same isn’t always what’s warranted. For instance, we all try to get away from the tourist who doesn’t seem to know that speaking English louder doesn’t help get the point across to someone who doesn’t understand the language. We laugh at the joke in which someone is looking for a set of keys under the street lamp, not because they were lost there, but because that is where there is more light by which to search. Yet in spite of these moments of recognition that just doing more of what we have always done is unwise, we frequently persist in using certain approaches with no serious consideration of their appropriateness or effectiveness across different contexts (for an example of the downsides of grit, see this article from Bill Murphy, Jr). Or, witness the managers who keep hiring clones of themselves and nevertheless continue to expect innovative and out-of-the-box thinking from those hires. In both scenarios, we are trapped in the myth of more of the same is always better.

When we over-emphasize similarity when making choices, be they in hiring, appraisal or promotion, we run the risk of stifling disagreement, provoking groupthink and failing to get the feedback we need. Furthermore we won’t ever know what diverse ideas, attitudes and behaviors we could have injected into our project, organization or friendship circle, had we not set out to find someone who looked just like us.

When we overdo our strengths (those of you who are familiar with the SDI will know that overdone strengths are a foundation of this model), they become liabilities. By doing too much of a good thing, we miss the opportunity to try out new, albeit perhaps challenging, ways of being. We also squander the chance to step away from perfectionistic tendencies and allow ourselves to fail at something and through this failure come to a deeper appreciation of both our strengths and our limitations.

By rejecting the notion that more is always better, perhaps we can get to a place where diversity work involves exploring ourselves in order to discover what new lies within and exploring the wider world to discern other options for flourishing. Being jubilant when people acknowledge new parts of themselves, previously unknown or even disowned, and celebrating the variety of equally valuable routes to success that exist across our human species sparks the diversity dividend.

Creative Commons License
The Diversity Dividend by Katherine W Hirsh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

More isn’t always better