Thursday, February 10, 2011

Start Trek Is Real...Except for the Diversity Part

I use my Droid Fascinate smartphone constantly.  Whether I use it to take notes during meetings (I've given up paper), or text, tweet and chat, manage multiple email accounts, post on facebook, check LinkedIn, read blog posts, surf the web, manage my hectic schedule, use my voice-activated GPS, read the New York Times or Mashable, or actually talk on it, my Droid is completely integrated into my life.

I also work for a very sophisticated healthcare organization.  We use technology for everything from documentation to implanting miraculous devices that practically restore hearing, to replacing failing little hearts with new ones.

And we all live in such a technologically advanced society that human beings now blast into outer space and work on space stations.  We use Skype or Green Interview to speak face-to-face with candidates from across the globe.  We praise the power or lament the shortcomings of various 24/7 news organization's coverage of our world which brings us real time coverage of events. 

So as a fan of the original Star Trek series I've been convinced for some time that everything from that 1960's classic would one day come true.


One of the strengths of the Star Trek series was the diversity of the cast.  Check out the picture above, all sorts of countries, colors (and planets!) are represented as valued members of the team.  Nations came together to make the universe a better place. Nations.  You know, like Israel, North Korea, Iraq, Venezuela, China and the United States together on the same team.

Maybe having our entire planet come together is too lofty a goal for now.  Perhaps we should focus on just our country.  Hmm...still too much?  How about our organizations stepping up and including everyone as equals?  That just may work. Whether or not you have strong feelings about which  department should own diversity and inclusion, you need to own it.  That's right.  Stop waiting for someone else to get started.  YOU need to do it.  

And so do I.


Are you up for the challenge?  Are you willing to critically examine not only your own belief system, but to accept the fact that waiting for someone else to "do it" has never made a difference?  Ever.  I've taken that step, and I think you should join me.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of The Supernatural World


  1. My organization was, up until a few years ago, made of three major business groups. Those groups didn't really work together, and barely acknowledged they were one company.

    We purchased another company that was made of two major business groups. Those groups didn't really work together, and barely acknowledged they were one company.

    Once they were all together, though, the three were inseparable, and the other two became best friends.

    Never underestimate the power of the external motivator. I'm sure if spaceships and aliens showed up on our doorstep tomorrow, suddenly the people from Mexico, China or Latvia would suddenly be part of the "us" instead of the "them."

  2. I love the idea of an external push Dwane. Now that your organization has integrated more, have the two camps ("3" and "2") come together? Hopefully so. If the focus becomes circling the wagons to fight a common enemy, then there is still work to do. Great perspective on diversity work!

  3. Great post Jay. The truth is we all need to open up our mental models- cheers

  4. I really like this reference Jay. I think for most of us in business, we need to realize that our customer base is diverse. If we aren't working from a broad viewpoint of employee culture, we are quite likely missing opportunities to serve our customers better - or at least to assure that we continue to serve them.
    In your business, you probably don't wish to have repeat customers (ideally), but if they do need to return, you want them to at least be confident they are respected!

  5. Thank you for your feedback Peter & HRi! The more I focus on pushing myself to understand D&I, the more I realize I must have as broad a perspective on every situation as possible. It's the only way to keep my awareness level high, and to be able to truly serve my customers effectively.