In order to use the value of diversity, an inclusive (work) culture is needed. Using the eight guidelines for creating an inclusive culture, the promise of diversity (creativity, innovation, quality) can be realized.
Guideline 1: Don’t Clone, Guideline 2: Challenge Your Truth, Guideline 3: Enjoy the Free Fall of Not Knowing, Guideline 4: Think Both/And, Guideline 5: Maximize Common Focus, Guideline 6: Fix Fault Lines
We tend to gather people around ourselves those who are similar to us. All sorts of subgroups are formed in this way. Between these subgroups, “fault lines” can form, leading to thinking in “islands,” often accompanied with an “us versus them” mentality. This can lead to disruptions in the ways information flows between different groups, or it can lead to decisions being made by the majority groups. Leaving minority groups with the feeling that they have not been heard. When this is the case within a team or a department, an undercurrent can occur that can hinder cooperation and can decrease the group’s results. This is the unpleasant, and many times hurtful, side of diversity, which deals with inclusion and exclusion, with status, rank and power.
There’s much to be said about exactly what happens within the dynamics of fault lines: the blindness of the majority, the stress felt by minorities, power, the bystanders effect, social pressure to conform, bullying… In any case, leaders need to be able to fix destructive fault lines. Applying servant, co-creative and boundary spanning leadership.
I will return to this subject again in future blogs. For now I’ll let the “Tale of O” tell the story of fault lines and subgroups (see embedded video clip).