We’re living and working in interesting times. Our workplace can span across several countries and have five generations all working together at the same time. Bussinesses have never been so culturally diverse and driven to succeed on a global scale.
Organisations need to be able to harness the power of diversity to thrive, and inclusivity is the first step, but not the only one. If today’s leaders truly understand diversity and embed this in their culture, they can bring out the creativity, innovation, and high performance their teams are capable of.
We caught up with Shireen Chua, a thought leader on cultural leadership, and she discussed three factors that make and shape fruitful cultural leadership.
“The future of work will require inclusivity, flexibility, and a sense of purpose to thrive. There has been much talk in the media about Perpetual Guardian’s successful four-day working week experiment. What does this have to do with the future of work, you may ask?” Shireen asks.
There’s a well-known saying ‘diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being invited to dance’. Inclusion comes in different forms but, at its heart, inclusivity is the notion that people matter. It’s trust and respect for each other, regardless of gender, race, age, ethnicity, and sexuality, that is key to enjoying the dance and the party.
It’s a feeling of belonging for everyone. Evidence has shown that a sense of belonging raises productivity and creativity. Taking a linear approach to inclusion won’t. A multi-dimensional approach is required to yield the benefits that diversity brings. Our identity is much more than the labels that we have for each other.
Giving staff the flexibility to work a shorter work week shows trust and respect. Think of a time when you were valued and trusted, and how you responded. Creating flexible workplaces communicates value to everyone which increases motivation, synergy and productivity.
Negotiating the outcomes expected with flexibility is essential to its success. That flexibility may look different in every organisation and it’s up to the leader to find out what works best for their employees and business.
Have you thought about what flexibility would look like in your business and team? And why it is important to do this and what you could gain?
A common purpose
Many have heard about the 2018 cave rescue of the 12 boys and their soccer coach in Chiang Rai. It remains a miraculous story of courage, survival and creativity in the midst of impossible odds.
A common purpose focused every member of the global and local team – they wanted to get everyone out alive. While everyone had different roles and alternate ways of approaching the problem, it was a common purpose that united the team to achieve their mission. It wasn’t their differences that were reported but their common vision, purpose and focus. The experience, nationality, skills, and knowledge of each individual in the team faded into the background as their common vision, purpose, and focus drove them to trust each other and work towards it.
People can do amazing things if they’re empowered, equipped and harnessed together with a common vision and goal, and given the opportunity to make contributions.
Choose amazing and your employees and customers will continue to choose you.