While diversity in corporations is a hot topic right now, this is not necessarily about race but about diversity in general. However, race does come into play because where we come from and who we are impacts our life experiences. It is these influences that shape who we are and what we bring to the table.
I have found that building a team with different capabilities is critical to the success of that team. The most successful teams I have been on were ones where the members complimented each other. If everyone on the team has the exact same capabilities and backgrounds chances are you are going to miss something. It is important to select the team where people are coming from different disciplines to reduce your blind spots. On a process improvement team that I recruited experts from finance, operations, engineering, IT, sales and human resources. This allowed the team members to lean on each other when they need advice when interfacing with a certain part of the organization. This collaboration helped the team understand the organizational big picture that led to innovative and sustainable solutions.
Throughout my career I have been given several opportunities to build and lead international teams. Bringing together groups of people from different cultures, religions and ethnicity can be challenging. Nevertheless, it can be fun and rewarding at the same time. Each and everyone of us has different life experiences from where and how we grew up, received our education, etc.. Being able to draw on these differences made for better overall solutions and experiences for the organization. However, the most rewarding part of it for me was that it gave me the opportunity to gather insight about another culture that allowed each of us to grow as individuals.
We cannot avoid our differences, they must be embraced. This is what makes us special and unique. Accepting each other for them can be leveraged to achieve remarkable results. As leaders this is how we will get the most out of our teams for a better tomorrow.
Chris Bloxham is a a regular contributor to the PE4U Project Controls and Project Management Blog. To learn more about Chris Bloxham please visit Chris Bloxham's LinkedIn Profile