We believe that collaboration and the ability to manage differences is essential for large-scale innovation, particularly within global organizations. Yet today's workforce is so diverse that even organizations without a global reach need to manage differences--including those of gender, generation, and culture.
In the book Positively M.A.D.: Making a Difference in Your Organizations, Communities, & The World,
more than 50 authors and renowned business, community, and thought
leaders share stories about how many people today are creating positive
change despite the challenges of our times. In fact, the challenges of our times are sometimes the very elements that are bringing diverse
people together, to focus on a common purpose. By focusing on what they
have in common, as opposed to the areas in which they might be
experiencing friction, people today are accomplishing significant change. But managing differences isn't easy. It requires skill that isn't innate. So we help organizations identify and leverage differences instead of simply viewing them as obstacles. __________________________________________________________________________________________
With the global marketplace continually growing and expanding, and communications expanding because of technological advances, interactions between the world's cultures are also increasing. With this comes new challenges. Leaders today are maximally effective only when they develop or enhance multi-cultural skill sets and competencies. What exactly are those?
Multi-cultural skill sets and competencies are typically competencies in communications, problem-solving and decision-making. Additionally, they include the ability to resolve conflict by using a variety of conflict management skills. Today's global competition requires additional focus on multi-cultural training and coaching. Our experience working for, and with organizations with international footprints has positioned us well to provide multi-cultural training and coaching services. When working with multi-cultural issues, we utilize a hybrid model that incorporates the research of Geert Hofstede and Fons Tompenaars, who developed models containing cultural "dimensions" that effectively define not only cultural differences but how those differences have come about.
We are knowledgeable about communication differences; power differences; and about the different speeds at which people from different cultures solve problems and make decisions. Additionally, we're knowledgeable about the ways that different cultures deal with conflict and with conflict resolution. Because of this, we've been able to help individual clients as well as teams and organizations manage differences that can arise from a lack of understanding about different approaches and perspectives. We incorporate our own cultural competencies when providing services in Capability Assessment, Change Management, Coaching, Culture Transformation, Restructuring & Downsizing, Performance Management, M & A Integration, Planning & Strategy, and Team Development. __________________________________________________________________________________________
In generations past, men and women functioned within the confines of societal norms that prescribed rigid roles. Additionally, there were expectations that people wouldn't venture beyond those norms or assigned roles, to take different actions or approaches. Throughout the ages, certain people rejected this notion--often because a strong desire to make a difference. They broke through gender and cultural stereotyping and the barriers associated with it. Each succeeding generation seems to have less "rules" and fundamental expectations about what men are good at, what women are good at, and how they should remain different.
We might even wonder if, in the future, there will even be distinctively "feminine" or "masculine" ways of interacting in the workplace. We envision that many differences will dissolve over time, but studies tell us that there are still areas where people are "hard-wired." Some differences are inevitable, and it's likely there will always be a need to reduce barriers and eliminate prejudice and stereotyping. Today's successful leaders appear to be an effective blend of the old stereotypes--assertive and action oriented, yet are also nurturing, supportive, and collegial.
We help leaders adopt or enhance skill sets and competencies that might previously have been associated with gender differences. We also help leaders understand and appreciate styles differences in others. One of of the most significant areas in which we can make a difference is in enhancing cross-gender communication. However, gender identity is only one aspect of a person's social identity, which leads to our next subject area. __________________________________________________________________________________________
pressures and problems of today's multi-generational workplaces and
workforces can also create opportunities, provided there is a good
understanding of the unique wants, needs, and beliefs of each
generation. First, we should recognize that, in no time in the past,
has there ever been a workplace and workforce as diverse as there is
today. Employers today are realizing that many misunderstandings and
resentments are occurring between different generations, and that they
aren't likely to dissolve over time.
We accept that there are 4
distinct age groups in today's workforce, although the oldest group has
almost completely phased out. They are:
between 1922 and 1943) and defined as those whose earliest influences
and memories are associated with World War II and the subsequent Great
Baby Boomers are those born sometime between
1943 and 1960 as well as the demographically defined Baby Boomers born
between 1946 and 1964 or 1965. These age groups share similar values
and perspectives. Baby Boomers were born during times of rapid
progress, opportunity, and optimism and had expectations of the same.
They saw major changes in employment covenants (i.e., working for one
company or organization for life) and were affected dramatically by
are defined as those born between 1960 and 1980. They grew up with
technology and the beginnings of terrorist movements. They were also
the "latch-key" kids who learned independence by necessity. They are
now in leadership roles and interacting frequently with Baby Boomers and
Generation Y employees.
Generation Yers (or Nexters, Millenials,
etc.) are the children of Baby Boomers. They were born between 1980
and 2000 and haven't known a world without technology,
so they're extremely proficient at it. Exposed to several wars and
conflicts in the Middle East, Generation Yers are realistic but not
fearful, and ironically, their values are more compatible with those of
the Veterans generation. They tend to financially sophisticated but, at
the same time, less materialistic than their Baby Boomer parents.
provided training to a
number of organizations, to help them understand, motivate, and reward
leaders and associates in the various generations. By helping people
to understand the differences between generations, gender, and culture,
we've, in many cases, been able to eliminate judgment and
stereotyping. Certainly, when different groups can see
value in other approaches and perspectives, they can collaborate
to participate in innovative and enhanced problem solving, decision
strategy formulation. __________________________________________________________________________________________
Understanding and Valuing Differences of All Kinds
increased focus on diversity, we sometimes think of differences as
resulting from gender, generational, or cultural differences. But we
know that differences of all kinds can potentially inhibit innovation,
so we help clients deal with differences in personality, values, and
work styles. We also help clients examine their conflict management
styles and coach them in expanding their current repertoires to learn
Additionally, we help to identify where
individuals (and teams) may be overutilizing or underutilizing conflict
management styles that can interfere with successful collaboration. And
we assist individuals and teams focus on common goals and progress in
reaching common goals--which are the same methods that we use to build
effective teams in general. __________________________________________________________________________________________
Differences and Conflict
Whenever there are differences, conflict is inevitable. Some individuals, groups, and organizations deal with conflict constructively, leveraging it in ways that enhance performance and foster innovation. Others, with more limited skill sets or conflict management repertoires allow conflict to create delays or barriers.
We're skilled in working with individuals, teams, and functions, to identify and address conflict expeditiously and skillfully. We do this through individual and team development, leadership development, and individual coaching.
To read an article about different conflict management styles and ways that we help clients resolve conflict, click here. __________________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ To read what clients say about how we've helped them achieve collaboration, click here.