We are in an era of tremendous change, where everything is being disrupted: governments, institutions, personal lives and the workplace. Innovation expert John Seely Brown calls it the Cambrian Moment. Things are thrown up but they eventually settle down. It is during that time of settling when small moves – smartly and intentionally made – can make a big difference. Hamlin Grange believes this is the Cambrian Moment of diversity and inclusion. We need to rethink our positions and attitudes about old concepts and approaches to create more inclusive workplaces, livable and workable cities and productive and relevant institutions. It’s a time when we need to stop asking old questions to new audiences. Leaders must be more inclusive, individuals must get out of their comfort zones, and we all must become more interculturally competent.Google+
DiverseCity onBoard held a panel discussion on leadership and diversity on boards. Moderator Hamlin Grange of DiversiPro Inc., facilitated the discussion with Fariba Anderson, Chief Information Officer at MPAC; Ritu Bhasin, People Strategist & Diversity Specialist; Gervan Fearon, Dean of The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education and Kulvir Gill, Senior Principal at Clareo Partners.Google+
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The Agenda examines how we go about better reflecting the diversity of the province on TV.
Leadership: The decision-makers guiding the development and implementation of the organizational strategy, including senior leaders, senior managers and board directors; and these leaders’ knowledge, skills, commitment, communication, and actions in support of diversity and inclusiveness.
Products & Services: The nature of the products and/or services that the organization provides and the extent to which products and services deliver high value to fulfil the needs of a diverse set of potential customers and clients.
Human Capital: The diverse set of people, including employees, suppliers, sub-contractors, volunteers, supporters, leaders, and board directors, who provide the organization with its resource base of skills, abilities, knowledge, perspectives and cultural competence; the formal systems and processes that make a diverse talent and knowledge base available to the organization; the full valuing and utilization of a diverse knowledge and talent base.
Workplace Environment: The social-emotional and physical environment of the workplace; as well as the formal structures and systems created to drive the informal processes that make all members feel included, supported, and accepted, including a fully accessible physical space.
Stakeholder Connections: Relationships with the diverse stakeholder groups that hold the organization accountable for its actions, including the diverse set of communities in its region of operations, as well as actual and potential funders, investors, suppliers, employees, customers, and advocacy groups in the organizational field; knowledge of each community, partnerships with the communities, investment in the communities, two-way influencing, in-reach and out-reach.
Marketing: The process by which the organization develops strategies that will appeal to a diverse set of customers, clients, donors, and/or other key financial supporters for purposes of sales, communications, business development, and fundraising.Google+
Dawna MacLean encourages us to be courageous enough to go outside our comfort zones and to seek out False Truths and conquer them.Google+
Broadcasters, diversity managers, non-governmental organizations, government representatives and university researchers in Europe are mulling over some new ideas, and using some new language “CADA. Self-Assessment. The Six cylinders of diversity management.”
At the end of September delegates at a conference in Amsterdam attended a presentation by DiversiPro Inc. managing partners Hamlin Grange and Cynthia Reyes.
The conference, Tuning in to Diversity 2004, was sponsored by the European Union and several other European agencies. Its organizers Online/More Colour in the Media and Mira Media invited Reyes and Grange of DiversiPro to present their approach to diversity.
Grange led a presentation called “Measuring Diversity”, outlining DiversiPro’s signature approach that includes “the Six Cylinders of diversity management” and CADA (content analysis data base application). These systems demonstrate that diversity can be measured in key organizational processes.
Self Assessment Tool
Grange also presented the company’s self-assessment tool. “We believe the most important first question to be answered by an organization that intends to carry out a diversity initiative is “Why?”
“You need to know what’s motivating this diversity strategy”, says Grange. “Is it to appease a regulator, to ease your conscience, to make money, or because you want to make diversity a core value throughout the organization? Is it because you’re trying to stay out of trouble with the human rights commission? What is it?”
The simple self-assessment process helps managers identify what core diversity challenge their organization is trying to address, and how far they are willing to go to address it. Grange says he was “quite impressed by how readily the Europeans accepted it.”
Theories AND Practice
“Some of what passes for diversity consulting is very one dimensional,” says Reyes. “Everyone says they’re an expert in organizational development, but few are. Smart clients pick this up the moment they start to ask pragmatic questions about how to apply these theories successfully in their organizations. Having worked in Europe over several years, I was confident that they would appreciate both the theory and the practical application of our approach.
“The DiversiPro team showed that intelligent analysis of diversity really is possible, that there are realistic strategies that can be deployed, and measurable practices that can be used right away, ” says Reyes, who has extensive experience in organization development and change management.
Right Approach, Right Time
Reyes says DiversiPro came along with its approach at the right time and their European audiences were ready for it.
The company’s approach shows managers that they can improve their cultural intelligence and diversity practices in both the marketplace and the workplace.
Grange and Reyes say there’s been a lot of guesswork in diversity management. “You can’t afford to have managers say they think they’re doing well, ” says Grange.
For some European executives and academics, the CADA measurement tool was what they’d been looking for.
CADA, developed by Canadian companies MediaSkills and DiversiPro, uses computer software to measure how well media companies are carrying out their diversity goals in their programming. Built on state-of-the-art technology, CADA measures TV, Radio, Print and Internet content rapidly and accurately. It also creates instant multi-format graphs to compare those results with relevant market demographics, target audiences and readership and a company’s own core values.
Examples of Good Practice
Reyes and Grange also acted as ambassadors from Canada at the conference. They selected a small number of Canadian radio and television programs as examples of good practices in diversity for screening at the conference. They also reported on the recently released Canadian Association of Broadcasters report on diversity, as well as the diversity strategy at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which DiversiPro recently helped to develop.
Excellent Response to DiversiPro
The feedback from delegates is still arriving from Europe. An executive at Finnish Public Television says DiversiPro’s presentation is “making a difference” in how he views the diversity challenge. A media executive from Britain says he’s “strongly recommending” the DiversiPro approach, because the presentation made him realize that one has to look at diversity in a much more comprehensive manner.
Diversity in European Media
This was the fourth such European conference on diversity in the past 10 years. There is no equivalent conference in Canada, although Innoversity, founded by Reyes and Grange, is close. Organizers of the European conference have followed Innoversity with interest, and Ed Klute, the conference organizer, presented a European case study at the Innoversity Creative Summit in May 2002 at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto.
Reyes and Grange say they “came back to Canada with a greater understanding of how diversity is defined and played out in different European countries,” said Reyes. Among those countries is Holland, which has prided itself for its tolerant attitudes, and, with its ethnic minority population growing, is finding diversity to be challenging.
In her closing speech of the conference, Judith van Kranendonk, Director General, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Netherlands, urged delegates to learn more about the many new cultures of European society.
“If we truly wish to serve the European cause, then we should be taking action to get Europeans involved in one another’s cultures, by working together and by learning from one another. After all, that never hurt anyone. And what could be a more exciting topic than the media and the way it can be made to reflect the diversity of our societies?”Google+