Date posted: 30/06/2015 4 min read

Fast Forward: leading in a brave new world of diversity

Insight for leaders about driving inclusive behaviour and thinking for business success

In Brief

  • Diversity of thought, markets and talent are heightened by increased global mobility and technology.
  • To harness the power of diversity, leaders need to understand an inclusive culture.
  • How can leaders drive inclusive behaviour and thinking which translate into future business success?

The national conversations in Australia and New Zealand are focused on jobs and growth, underlined by diversity, innovation and supporting the transition to knowledge economies.

We are living in an increasingly VUCA world: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. This world is shaped by global mega trends.

  • Diversity of markets
  • Diversity of ideas
  • Diversity of talent

Against this backdrop of disruption, education and migration, along with population age profiles and differing expectations of what work means are changing demographics around the globe. While organisations around the world have generally struggled to include diverse employees, leaders ignore diversity of talent at their peril. Bringing out the best from the diverse talent pool will require new ways of thinking from leaders, but is key to success in facing the challenges and opportunities posed by global mega-trends.

Successful leaders know that a sustainable future requires different behaviours and ways of thinking. Rather than heading an organisational fiefdom, leaders of the future must see beyond their own knowledge and experience, to cross organisational and national boundaries, to identify new opportunities, predict trends and solve complex problems. They can only do this by embracing diversity – of points of view and of people. They are inclusive leaders.

Inclusive leadership is about:

  • treating people and groups fairly - according to their abilities rather than stereotypes
  • personalising individuals - understanding the uniqueness of team members, customers and key stakeholders
  • using this knowledge about individuals to make teams smarter

There are six signature traits of an inclusive leader:

  1. Committed
  2. Courageous
  3. Cognisant
  4. Curious
  5. Culturally intelligent
  6. Collaborative

This paper provides leaders with great insight about driving inclusive behaviour and thinking which translate into future business success.

Fast Forward: Leading in a brave new world of diversity

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