Diversity of Personality Deserves Promotion (WHY?)

by Onyeka Nchege on September 22, 2014

DifferentOften I have spoken about how competition breeds innovation, which I standby because I have witnessed it firsthand within my own organization. Another catalyst to innovation success is diversity. By definition, a diverse organization is one that is comprised of eclectic individuals of varying races, sexes and backgrounds. Additionally, there is one other characteristic that is frequently overlooked; eclectic individuals with varying personalities.

In a diverse organization exist subsets of individuals who are of the same race and sex that have very similar backgrounds. An interesting result happens when an individual, within these subsets, does not “fit” on a personal level with those individuals that they are assumed to be most like based on their physical characteristics and background. The result being the “un-fit” individual is habitually ostracized by those they should most identify with.

Anyone who has worked in a corporate environment knows the benefits of promoting diversity in the workplace that include: potential economic growth due to additional customer bases being pursued, lower employee turnover rates and quicker adaptability to our changing nation. These benefits are based on the basic definition of diversity in the workplace. An aspect that is often overlooked as a benefit in the broader definition of diversity is inclusiveness of those with diverse personalities. As an example, usually during the hiring process the skillset of the individual is scrutinized against the job requirements to ensure they will be able to perform the needed tasks. Additionally, the personalities of the candidates are scrutinized against the personalities of the individuals they will be potentially working with. The latter is an important undertaking as individuals who work well together will most likely make great progress together. However, we have to ask ourselves is the true reason of scrutinizing personalities based solely on the intended progress of our organizations, or is it based on our own biases?

In nearly every organization, the word bias has a negative connotation. When one hears that someone is biased in some sense, the initial thought is they are also prejudiced and discriminatory. Hence, bias is in direct contrast with diversity. But if we are truly honest with ourselves, we must admit that we all have our own biases, and our biases are not always centered on race, sex or background. It is how we address and manage our own biases that determines whether or not we can truly be fair to any individual we encounter.

So before summing up and discounting an individual based on your belief that they are not as “polished” or polite as you think they should be, ask yourself… Will this person be effective in promoting progress despite if I like how they make progress?.

As you address and manage your own biases, you may find that the innovation and effectiveness in your organization will increase dramatically.

Take Action: Decide today to check your approach, tolerance, and acceptance of “diversity” and not limit your definition to just race and sex.

Leadership on the Go…It’s O.N.


Laboring From Idea to Plan

by Onyeka Nchege on September 2, 2014

strategyIn 1882, the first Labor Day parade took place in New York City to celebrate the achievements and contributions of the American worker. Since that initial parade, the first Monday of September rightfully observes the American workforce on a national level. For, throughout history, the American workforce has demonstrated its outstanding ability to hone ideas into lasting inventions through extensive planning.

Just as everything that has been invented in the past, exists today, and will exist in the future, the first thing that is needed is an idea. From airplanes to cellphones, our most significant contributions to the daily tools that are used today by most across the world began with the simple notion of an idea. No matter how outlandish they may seem during the period when they are conceived, ideas are the needed catalysts to inflict change.

To build and execute change, the immediate follow up to an idea needs to be planning. For example, the inventor Martin Cooper had the idea that people wanted the allowance of being able to communicate via a phone outside of their homes and cars. That thought led to a series of plans, which led to a series designs, which led to prototypes and implementations, which led to the concept of the mobile devices we use today. Hence, a plan is a derivative of an idea or a collection of ideas.

To follow along the same paths as those who have been a part of the American workforce and have derived plans from ideas to create inventions, the constant reality holds true that, “Success will always elude you if your ideas never turn to plans fueled by action”. To achieve success and move thru the ideation process, use the following guidelines to get a clear understanding of the differences between ideas and plans.

    Ideas are stimulating, mental impressions. Plans are action oriented, arranged methods.

    Ideas are detached. Plans are deliberate.

    Ideas are complimentary. Plans have costs.

    Ideas are limitless. Plans define limits.

    Ideas are entertained. Plans have an end game.

The key point to take from this is ideas are the initial phase of planning. Though ideas can be loose and lacking organization, they can be honed into goals. Plans are the actions needed to turn ideas into reality and achieve those goals.

Take Action: You can’t purpose in your mind to do something but never be about getting it done. In order for your ideas to become a reality, you have to plan and get it DONE!

Leadership on the Go…It’s O.N.


Don’t Press the Panic Button

August 19, 2014

Nervousness, anxiety, overwrought, overwhelmed, fearful, agitated; these are all catalysts to one feeling like they are in a state of panic. The panic state often leads to hasty, illogical decision making, which can result in worsening an already percieved bad situation or ceasing any momentum towards a destination. Before reaching over to press the proverbial […]

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Effective Influence Requires Reinforcement

August 10, 2014

In a recent post, I talked about how culture defines an organization and how the basis of that culture stems from the mission statement and principles. To expand upon that, an organization’s culture is also groomed through the actions of those in key leadership roles within the organization. For example, often when we hear of […]

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How BYOD Enhanced My Listening Skills

July 15, 2014

In a previous post, I shared how the New-Now mindset often places IT organizations on their own Information Superhighways. One catalyst to the New-Now mindset is individuals wanting the newest, shiniest “toys” as they hit the market. A common request that comes with the New-Now is the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) option where individuals […]

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