Saturday, October 17, 2009

Diversity: Why Do We Have Such A Hard Time Walking Our Talk?

Who wouldn’t want to work for a sexy, politically aware, spiritually evolved employer with great values? Sadly, the fear of lawsuits drives so many employers to attempt to repress all expressions of diversity such as sexuality, politics, and religion at work. The legal rules intended to protect people can create the very conflict they are intended to prevent. The unintended result of over-zealous regulation and repression of our essential humanness reliably creates a sterile, inhospitable, conflict-laden, and unprofitable workplace. Consequently, sexy, powerful, value-driven companies are hard to come by. Does it have to be this way?

Employers are compelled to follow a merciless number of (at times conflicting) employment laws. These laws have the unintended consequence of stripping the very essence of what it means to be truly human from every corner of the office. Authentic human relationships are crushed. We are expected to eradicate all hints of sexuality, political process and religion from the very fabric of our company for fear of a damaging, costly and paralyzing law suit.

The core problem lies in the diverse values that we bring to the office and workplace. Diversity is a function of value differences, not simply ethnicity, religious affiliation or gender. However, when inappropriate freedom of expression of sex, politics, and religion occurs, we run afoul of the law. Thus, understanding and leading diversity of values is the key.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


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