Friday, 18 November 2011

Why diversity is important and why Sepp Blatter clearly doesn't get it

Over the past 48 hours, Sepp Blatter has caused global outrage - including from football stars such as Rio Ferdinand - for his comments on racism (watch them below). Not only has he failed to show an understanding of a problem that is rife in football, he has also spectacularly missed an open goal of an opportunity to promote the value that diversity brings to teams, organisations and society. I’ve seen why diversity is important in organisations – especially those working with the vulnerable – through when it has worked well and through when it hasn’t. In my experience, diversity is vital for 4 main reasons:
  • Helps address issues more effectively: People from different races, religions and cultures often have different ways of addressing issues enabling a more open and in depth conversation about how the issues can be resolved;
  • Facilitates brainstorming: Diversity can contribute to problem-solving as people view situations from their own unique backgrounds and brainstorm ideas that may have never been considered;
  • Enhances decision making and policy: Diversity means different experiences and perspectives are made available when decisions are made, leading to more effective and better decision-making and policy;
  • Enables stakeholder buy-in: If you include people affected by decisions in the decision making process, they are more likely to feel ownership of the decision that is made.

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