Monday, August 31, 2015

2245 : Politics by Identity

I was speaking at work (with my broader team ) about the subject of diversity and what it means to us. Every American firm, worth its salt  puts a premium on diversity.

Unfortunately by the time it translates back to the floor the message is fully lost.

It becomes more of a box ticking and less of a real issue.

Here is my take. Real diversity happens when we can encourage thought diversity, make it safe for colleagues to shoot down each other, and when we truly and sincerely encourage thought and intellectual debate.

There is one more important and subtle aspect of diversity though. Real diversity incorporates identity as the root of all differences.

So what is identity?
Rape is identity.
Any form of abuse is identity.
Any form of a debilitating disease (cancer) is an identity.
Any disability is an identity.
Sexuality is identity.
Race and gender are most definitely so.
Isolation is identity.
Economic demographic is an identity.
.....
....

and I could add a few more. Get the drift?

Read Andrew Solomon's Far From the Tree if you have to.

Include both diversity and identity and you have real diversity in a team, firm/group.

Go include the people on the outskirts and see the magic they really can bring into a median team.

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