Chapter 43. Diversity Counts

"To fully understand diversity and equality, one must see humanity in terms of both its similarities and differences."

The world consists of billions of people who come from different cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds, each of whom carries his or her own value system. These differences find their way into coffee shops, conference rooms, and classrooms. You don't have to get a brain cramp to realize the significance of diversity, its impact on the world, and why we must find a way to make it count.

We are all staring down the barrel of the same reality. Diversity is a serious competitive issue that requires a serious and sustained solution. By giving diversity little more than lip service, many people and companies are in danger of losing touch with reality. The time to stop paying lip service to diversity is long overdue; we cannot complacently allow past preconceptions to continue. Every member of society must become diversity-enlightened.

As our industrial society and global economy grows and continues to diversify, many of us fail to understand how diversity affects what we do and how we do it. By failing to recognize its relevance, by failing to resemble the national population, and by failing to reward the proponents of diversity, many companies will soon find themselves uncompetitive in a highly diverse world.

The mere term diversity carries a plethora of meanings, depending on whom you ask. For many, equality has traditionally meant sameness—a ...

Get Everything Counts: 52 Remarkable Ways to Inspire Excellence and Drive Results now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.