I was only a teenager when I first read the question ‘what would I do if I weren’t afraid’. I was young and uncertain with all the angst of being young and not knowing my place in the world. I was filled naively with a confidence that when I grew up that I would become fearless as I would somehow have all the answers – or at least enough of them to be bold.
Two organisations come together.
Each group gets to see what the other looks like. Specifically what you see are the behaviours, symbols and systems of the other organisation. They may look like you, even talk like you. On the surface they may be in the same business, and therefore undertake the same activities. But very quickly you will notice that they are not the same as you.
Diversity has direct and surprising positive effects on your business. Not only can it yield a range of beneficial impacts but it can also help limit some of the more extreme tendencies your teams may face. It is a proposition I recently put forward in an article for Acquisition International and one that I’d like to reflect on here.
The Atlanta games in 1996 saw Great Britain’s worst performance at a summer Olympic games since 1952, taking home just one gold medal. Twenty years later, Team GB depart Rio this week with 67 medals —27 of them gold. Little Britain sits proudly above sporting superpowers such as Russia, Australia, and, most notably, China in the gold medal tally.
But the UK’s “greatest haul” in 108 years did not happen by accident... Instead, they went and created a winning culture that has resulted in record-breaking results.