Diversity Pays Off : Business
Thanks to Milton Friedman, the world operates on his well accepted theory of making the investors wealthy at all cost — winners take all attitude.
I hope this article will show that it is not about the necessity to be wealthy at all cost but sustainable on a long, long run.
Diversity is now being recognised as an agent of change in companies and I believe it to be the case.
With my years of experience in the hospitality industry, I have met and interacted with people from all around the world. My colleagues were from everywhere as well and with that mix, we were able to service the guests with excellence.
Where one can see the necessity for diversity of backgrounds in a field like the tourism industry; it is time to do so in other fields.
My series on diversity is less about the colour of the skin, the eyes, the height, etc and more to do with welcoming people who bring a fresh perspective in a company.
In a traditional consulting firm, candidates go through a series of test and at the end, they are welcomed with fanfare as juniors.
When a junior is working on a company in the emerging markets; he/she works with what the knowledge (skills &cultural) he/she has. But what are the knowledge of a person who lived on the left bank of Paris — what can one bring on the table to understanding the intricacies of the Nigerian or the Peruvian policies?
Here lies the opportunity to hire people from Africa, Middle East, South Asia — no one can learn about the culture differences through a case study.
The understanding that a company cannot no longer survive without this inclusion on every level will be seen in the near future and will determine the sustainability or not of that same company.
An example that still blows my mind is Disney — this year, Mulan was released on its platform and where I might understand the business need to bring a talented singer such as Mrs Christina Aguilera, I am lost in regards to the video — the cultural appropriation is out there and shameless. The company that reach global viewers still has a hard time including an Asian person (or two) to bring a fresh perspective — the need to penetrate the Chinese market and the Asian region should be taken very seriously.
I believe nowadays global companies are working in understanding the African market : 54 countries with such differences not only in geography, language, market size etc and when the likes of Disney continue on doing the basic work; they will not survive the changes that are ahead of us!
Need I say more : The Israeli actress Gal Gadot will be portraying Cleopatra in a new adaptation replacing Elizabeth Taylor.
I sometimes reminisce about the lessons taught in my hospitality classes even in my economics classes at a business school - the thought from the instructor that this is how it shall be done … everywhere… in my head, I was aware that something will not be done this way in Africa and close to it but there will be new alternatives to how Africans and companies will approach service and the product. Though different, effective nonetheless.
As I get projects through my consulting firm, I have the opportunity to share about different subjects and I am always amazed by how diverse answers I get in working on one subject.
Where the world leaders are now introducing the “Great Reset” in reference to the post corona life, I hope they will be shouting all the more about the need to welcome diversity in the boardrooms, the media rooms, the business meetings, the powerful lists etc.
Their Great Reset should be implementing cultural training to respect their customers, the host country, the clients etc.