05 Apr
Team Diversity - Does It Really Work?

In today's corporate world, diversity is a must.
Organizations are required to be diverse and give equal opportunity to people from different backgrounds.
The intention is to create a diverse mosaic of people from different genders, different nationalities, different population groups,
Thus increasing the possibilities for all populations and not discriminating.

Beyond contribution and social commitment (on which organizations are currently measured),
The well-known benefits of diversity in projects and teams:

Contributes to creativity and personal development

Expands horizons and opens people up to different cultures

Shortens time for problem solving - because there are many ideas from different angles
and more...

But on the ground, it's not always a picnic.
Despite all the desire to contribute socially, people often prefer to work with people similar to them with whom they can connect naturally.

I can testify that very recently I have tried to incorporate in my projects people from different backgrounds, and not with much success.
Instead of there being integration and mutual fertilization,
There was a fear of the different,
Feeling of isolation and rejection,
And of course - dissatisfaction
(After all, studies show a direct and strong connection between personal friendships at work and satisfaction)

so what can be done?

I remember the days when I started working with team members from India.
We went through workshops and a lot of preparation that allowed us to prepare and understand why we were getting into it.
And it's not that this process was easy,
It took a long time until we really understood how to work together
But the process was intelligent and controlled.

That's probably part of the answer.

You can not just create diversity and expect everyone to get along and be happy.
We need to invest in it,
In mutual acquaintance, in understanding the purpose, in understanding the challenges, and especially in the ways of coping.

If people understand that maybe in the short term it's much more fun to come into a room with people who are just like you, and think like you,
But in the long run, working with people different from you is enriching and teaching things that can not be learned anywhere else,
Maybe they will look at it differently.

We should expect a complex and not simple journey,
and be prepared to also fail sometimes,
Still keep trying.

At the end of the day, the number of things I learned in my career from people who are totally different from me is by far greater and more significant than what I learned from people like me.

So give it a chance,
Do it right,
And on the way discover wonderful things,

I'm not going to give up either :-)

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