Monday, July 3, 2017

Death to Diversity

"Diversity" has the same root as the words divide and division. So why are we shocked and not fully recognizing that its implementation is polarizing?

Click Here: for the previous article...


When it comes to racial issues, Millennials are front and center with inclusion
and acceptance.
So WHY are so many diversity programs failing?

I am in an interracial relationship, married to the same wonderful woman for 19 years, my wife Norma is from Haiti and speaks 3 languages fluently...while I can barely type the English language;-)

I talk about inclusion in my NextGeneration Leadership programs—a hot topic these days—yet I feel inadequate to the task of discussing racial issues, and inclusion. So, I acquiesce to my longtime friend, speaker, author, humorist and INCLUSION expert, Karith Foster.

She will take over this blog for now...

Death to Diversity! 

Yes, as a black woman, married to a white man, with biracial children and years of dedication to diversity and inclusion work—that is what I am calling for.

Because “diversity” as we know it is officially a good word gone bad. Much like “feminist” and “liberal”, it is a word that has been overused, misconstrued, and it is now a pejorative with the often underlying interpretation of “us vs. them” i.e. straight white males against everyone else, or to be fair, vice versa.

"Diversity as we know it is officially a good
word gone bad." @KarithFoster


Regardless of who is on what side of the interpretation, we have traversed into a territory where we are now doing more harm than good and we are alienating ourselves from one another.

I am far from alone in this way of thinking. Superstar television show-runner Shonda Rhimes and film director Ava DuVarney have both acknowledged their disdain for the word. While I can only speak for myself, I feel confident in explaining that using the word “diversity” as terminology for increasing positive all-encompassing relations, be they in an academic or professional setting, now has the exact opposite effect of the intent of those behind it.

However, none of this should come as a surprise—“diversity” has the same root as the words divide and division. So why are we shocked and not fully recognizing that its implementation is polarizing?

Probably because we have all been duped into thinking that if you make something mandatory and you force feed it to people that will make a difference. That is the futile premise behind what traditional diversity training programs have been about so far.

A fantastic article in the Harvard Business Review“Why Diversity Programs Fail”—hits the nail on the head addressing why traditional diversity programs are not only miserably inadequate but have had counterproductive results. I am in no way saying there is no longer a need for diversity training; nothing could be further from the truth given the current climate. But there is a need for a major overhaul in how we teach each other about one another. We need a way that it is truly effective.

Let me address it in simpler terms. Have you ever tried to make someone eat something they weren’t comfortable or familiar with? As the mother of small children, I can tell you what trying to force-feed my kids a food they aren’t ready for or not in the mood for does. It does not end well. Can we say tantrums, resentment, and a hot mess on the floor that now needs to be cleaned up?! Well, the same goes for adolescents and adults when we try to ram thoughts and ideas onto them.

It does not matter how well-intentioned or good it might be. When we do this we are taking away an individual’s rights and freedom to come to conclusions on their own. We are not treating one another with respect, nor acknowledging that we are all thinking, feeling human beings capable of processing right from wrong or good from bad; we are certainly not supporting the cause when we’re condemning one group or victimizing another.

That is exactly why I created the program Stereotyped 101™. I combined my years of corporate HR experience, with my stand-up comedy career and over a decade of speaking and performing on college campuses across America to address issues of unconscious bias in a unique way that infuses humor with heartfelt reality and experiences. My goal is for people to C.A.R.E. This acronym stands for Conscious empathy, Active listening, Responsible reactions and Environmental awareness.

Since we are all a collection of our personal experiences and our reality is our truth, this approach gives my audience the freedom to come to grips with their reality while being able to honor the reality of others. My focus isn’t about “diversity”—what makes us different—but rather inversity.™

I coined the term inversity™ because we need another word to start new ideas flowing; to remove the stigma and inherent idea of separation. This word is the perfect combination of diversity and inclusion; and it encompasses the ideology that to change anything and create a path for progress we must flip the switch and the dialogue; and most importantly we must first look inside.

Inversity™ is about celebrating the individual for their worth, value, and what they bring to the table. It’s not about shaming anyone because of the life they created for themselves or the life they were born into—good or bad. This is about recognizing that each of us has worth and the need to be valued and respected based solely on our humanity.

Inversity™ is not about ignoring what make us different; we cannot do that without invalidating someone else’s personal experience. It is about seeing others, their differences, and embracing our one commonality—our humanity.

In a perfect world, we would all agree that we cannot change the state of things without changing how we think. It’s a natural algorithm. Thoughts lead to words. Words lead to actions. Actions lead to change. So anything socially monumental has to begin inside with how we think about ourselves.

For more information on Karith Foster or if you are interested in bringing her to your organization, please visit www.karith.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @KarithFoster.






www.karithfoster.com
Our Guest Blogger: 

Karith Foster 

Karith Foster is a humorist, speaker, TV and radio personality, author, wife and mother. She is also an inversity engagement specialist, impacting lives at academic institutions and corporations across America in a time when humor, understanding, acceptance and respect are so desperately needed.

Karith is one of the featured comedians in the 2016 hit documentary about comedy and outrage culture, “Can We Take a Joke?” which has since garnered accolades in The Washington Post and TIME magazine. She can be heard regularly on Sirius/XM Ch. 121 Insight and as co-host on the Fox Business News podcast “Timely Topics with Shapiro and Foster.”  


She attended the historical women’s institution Stephens College and Oxford University. 

Leadership Lessons from a Web Pioneer.


The Art & Science of
Leading a 21st Century Workforce


Brad Szollose's (pronounced zol-us), is a globally recognized Leadership Development and Management Consultant who helps organizations dominate their industry by tapping into the treasure of a multi-generational workforce. 

He shares his management strategies within the pages of his award-winning, international bestseller Liquid Leadership...strategies that ignited his own company, K2 Design, beginning as a business idea in a coffee shop to a publicly traded company worth $26 Million in just 24 short months with an IPO on NASDAQ.

As a C-Level executive, his unique management model was awarded the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation Amongst Employees (the phrase Workforce Culture did not exist back then).

Today the world’s leading business publications seek out Brad’s insights on Millennials, and he has been featured in Forbes, Inc., The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Advertising Age, The International Business Times, Le Journal du Dimanche and The Hindu Business Line to name a few, along with television, radio and podcast appearances on CBS and other media outlets.

Since the year 2010, and the release of his award-winning international bestseller, Liquid Leadership, Brad has created customized training programs for The American Management Association, Tony Robbins Business Mastery Graduates and Liquidnet Holdings, as well as several dozen Fortune 500 companies to name just a few; preparing them for the next generation of business leaders.

Mr. Szollose is also a TEDXSpeaker, and his talk The Age of Radical Disruption, focuses on the impact video games and serious gaming has had on the work habits and behavior of Generation X & Millennials.


Brad’s programs have transformed a new generation of business leaders, helping them maximize their corporate culture, creativity, innovation, productivity and sales growth in the new Digital Age economy.


Brad's work will expose the secrets to managing a cross-generational workforce:


Brad is the author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia: Cross-Generational Management Strategies That Are Changing The Way We Run Things and the publisher for Journeys to Success: The Millennial Edition: 21 Millennial Authors share their personal journeys of failure and success…based on the success principles of Napoleon Hill.  

 

https://www.amazon.com/Brad-Szollose/e/B004ARYLHW