Diversity and the Clash of the…

… Generations.

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Badconsultant believes passionately in the potential of each individual human being to fulfill the promise of their strengths; delivering their unique combination of talent, knowledge, skill, thought, feeling and experience to their job.

[and we can sell you a very nice, bespoke solution to moving it forward in your organization]

We celebrate the difference that each person brings to their organization. We relish diversity.

Diversity creates friction.

Diversity creates. Period.

[and we can sell you a very nice, bespoke solution to fixing the team fall-out of having just a soupçon too much diversity]

Yet we’re interested, as always, in watching most corporations wrestle with the concept of diversity. And observe a central issue. Because they consider diversity a minority issue. It’s not.

We will, however, take a moment to point out that the majority of corporations wouldn’t understand the conscious and sub-conscious ways they exclude huge chunks of their workforces, even if they were clearly written out in a nice table in Excel, cut and pasted into Powerpoint as a picture so that it can’t be edited.

[Making Powerpoint difficult for your clients to repurpose is a critical skill]

Women. Minority demographic groups. Innovators. All get excluded in the sanctimonious preaching of corporate values veiling the old boys network. It happens. But that’s not what we’re here to discuss, right now.

Regardless of demographic, diversity is not a minority issue. It’s an everybody issue. True diversity is each person who walks through the door (physical or metaphoric) each morning. Or evening. Or mid-afternoon. In case you haven’t noticed, the world outside the modern corporation has become Me, Me, Me.

Take blogs.

Who would’ve thought the world would want to read whatever drivel a blogger wants to post?

[unless the blogger is badconsultant, in which case it’s only natural to be interested]

Social networks. Peer-to-peer. Knowledge Management. Web 2.0. Discussion Boards. Blogs.

This is the era of the individual within the masses. It’s the era of Generations X, Y, Millenials and whatever comes next. But executives of most corporations are mostly Baby Boomers or Traditional generation. Raised in the era of activism. And that’s not right or wrong. It’s just who they are.

[see, we practice diversity of thought]

The point is that we’re no longer fighting for a cause in the workforce. The pursuit of the activist cause is, like, soooo last decade. Because, to use the cliché, it really is every man for himself. Or herself. Or his/herself. Get our drift. The activist battle has been lost. The individual won. Increasingly at work, each individual colleague is looking to be treated as an individual, not by the labels that have been put upon them. Increasingly, the only thing that counts is performance in pursuit of business objectives. Regardless of demographic.

There are still huge inequities. Undoubtedly. We say that 1) because we believe it; and 2) because we know that the knives come out as soon as you dare to suggest something other than minority pursuits.

[Political correctness. Ouch. Unless you’re using it to bill some work, in which case… Yeah!]

But believe us, such challenge to historic attitudes is only just beginning.

You see, in many corporations, the battle is just hitting the executive suite. Those maverick scary-people, Generation X, are now entering senior management. The friction between them and their parents’ generation is now in the boardroom. Generation X, the fiercely individualistic, performance-driven drop-out kids of the 70s and 80s. Staring in the CEO’s face, demanding that highly orchestrated policies and processes to treat people based on the colour of their label, or the content of their pants (or how they’d choose to use that if given the choice) rather than their contribution to business results, be ripped to shreds right now.

Used to be that that sort of thinking was strictly sub-management. No longer.

And if the corporation doesn’t wake up to that fact soon, the Clash of the Generations will make a Fantasy Epic seem like a Christmas cartoon.

All of which leaves just one question to ask each colleague.

“What can I do to help you be the best performer you can be in pursuit of business objectives?”

That’s the start and end of every conversation on true diversity, right there.

Ah well, while badconsultant can bill for assessing what can be done about those pesky demographic trends, who are we to complain?



2 thoughts on “Diversity and the Clash of the…

  1. Badconsultant invites you to a week-long ‘Irascibility Management Seminar’. This senior executive retreat takes place in the low foothills of the Peruvian Andes, where pan-pipes flute gently in the background, tapirs gambol in pristine rainforest and llamas gently caress your aching feet.

    At the seminar, you will be introduced to to our ‘EASY WAY OR HARD WAY’ (® November 13th 2007) framework, designed to help you manage your own inner diversity and the challenging landscape of interior monologue. You too will learn that you are a Diversity of One (® November 13th 2007).

    Then, to round out the week, you lose yourself in the primal scream therapy of guinea pig hunting (‘cos those bastards bite!)


  2. I’m all for diversity — except I really don’t care about alternate points of view.

    I’m more concerned about whether or not you’ll come around to my point of view THE EASY WAY or THE HARD WAY.


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