Diverse hearts and minds

Published by Tony Quinlan on

(Tomorrow I'll confirm the Melcrum masterclass details and how to register.)

I notice in the CommsNetwork mailing list there are recent emails asking for advice on how to "engage people in values".  My inference (and I think most correspondents' implication) is that they're actually asking how they get everyone to conform to the values as best as possible.

Responses cover the usual sins and techniques, focusing on events, comms vehicles, etc.  Nowhere is there the helpful response of "You'll never make them all sign up to the values and behave accordingly".  And even less so the addition "And if they did, it would be disastrous for the organisation"

Why do we continue to indulge this lazy thinking and idealistic, managerial way of working?  There are legal requirements around diversity in the workforce – diversity of colour, gender, ability, age, etc.  Assuming that you've got people who are different in their experiences, their outward qualities, what on earth makes you think they should think the same?

You want people who think and act differently – it's how you make the business effective, robust and innovative.  The real challenge for communicators should be how you enable conversations, dissent and then action from the diverse population.