I just finished reading an excellent article titled Beyond Bias in Strategy+Business Magazine. While reading it I could not help to take into consideration the events unfolding in the global marketplace today. We condemn those in the Black Life Matter. We condemn those to respond to violence as someone who wants to take our rights away. Stop for a moment and consider our own checkered path beginning with the Jews in World War II, the civil rights movement in the 50’s and 60’s and now the treatment of refugees.
When we take these preconceived ideas into the workplace we foster trouble. Dr. Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University recently penned a letter to the student body in which he discussed these very points. He stated that “if you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the University you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place. If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate, if you want; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land that will give you exactly what you want…….We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe that the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin.
Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others.
If we look at the business world these biases can and often do lead to trouble. We derive excuses for not promoting a worker who is of a minority because your biases tell us that they are not the “right” kind of person for the job. We derive excuses for not promoting someone with a disability because they are not our kind of person. We derive excuses for not opening the doors to opportunities of people of different faiths because we don’t believe that they are the right kind of people for our organization.
The TLs Continuum and Sustainability of our organizations is dependent on the diversity of ideas and methods of doing things. When we let biases dictate how we respond to these ideas we not only defame the involved party but we also defame our own being. When we make broad statements about a certain group in the marketplace we demean the marketplace. We forget that a small faction does not determine an entire population. I can remember growing up in the suburbs of NYC when the first black couple bought in the neighborhood and the immediate reaction was that our property values were going to tank, never mind that the husband was the Chief Radiologist of a premier hospital and the wife was a teacher who spoke 5 languages. They had become one of the best neighbors in the area.
So I return to the title of this post, If it looks like a rose and smells like a rose, it is a rose is a true statement unless you come to this decision by the utilization of a wide perspective. It is not true if you consider everyone but a true Christian to be satan. It is not true if you consider everyone of different skin color or religious background as being of no value to your organization.
Let’s open the dialogue as to how we can work together with out the interference of biases that demean any portion of the global workplace. Start the dialogue by dropping me an email at [email protected] or visit us on Facebook (Daniel Bloom Sphr Ssbb) or twitter( @dbainc).