Conceptual Clarity

As 2010 quickly comes to an end, I am amazed at how little progress some have made on the diversity front.  The Federal Government should be the trend leader on this issue but continues to lag behind.  After spending time with some of my collegues in this business over the last month, I realized that there is a lack of conceptual clarity around the issue of diversity.  For as many people as I talked with, that is how many definitions of diveristy I received.  I agree, there is room for a multitude of definitions, however, there must be some agreement and clarity within an organization to make it work.  All too often, D & I professionals have very clear concepts and definitions that never seem to resonate or cascade through an organization.  We carry on our work in spite of the lack of clarity and are often frustrated with the lack of results.  I am not blaming anyone for this ongoing challenge, but merely asking how can an organization expect results without conceptual clarity?  Front line managers continue to practice the “counting heads” philosophy while senior leadership embraces a more universal definition.  All the while, diveristy practioners are off implementing their vision.  I am not sure if there is a universal solution to this problem, but I am ceratin that without conceptual clarity, it will continue to be a problem.

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3 thoughts on “Conceptual Clarity

  1. Hi Deborah:

    Since I concur with the ongoing problem around what truly constitutes “diversity” I’m applauding you for addressing it.

    Plus, I want to thank you for providing members of our LinkedIn Diversity Group access to the many diversity conferences scheduled for 2011. It’s very helpful to be able to easily access that information.

    FYI: Arthur A. Fletcher, Ph.D., the celebrated “Father of Affirmative Action”, had much to say about the diversity subject in his later years prior to his passing in 2005. I would be happy to share his take on it should you be interested. In 2002 we co-wrote a White Paper entitled “Diversity’s Next Frontier: The Corporate Boardroom.”

    Our Mission at Boardroom Bound / Boardology Institute is “Fostering quality corporate governance through inclusive leadership in America’s boardrooms” feeds our Vision to be “a new paradigm for corporate governance leadership and America’s premier source of diverse director candidates.” & promote diversity in the corporate boardroom. Our program is dedicated to Dr. Fletcher’s diversity Legacy.

    Kindest regards,
    Linda Bolliger

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