Doug Dunn, Diversity Memo
The new CEO was born and raised in Wapato, Washington, is of Latino origins although born to family of Scotch decent. I was taught Spanish at home and learned to read and write the language in secondary class attendance. In addition I learned to speak, read and write French during highs school years and thru undergraduate work at Heritage College in Toppenish Washington.
My major thesis was diversity and how it drives successful people in business. I was chosen for the new CEO position in light of my qualifications. I am a strong believer of communication in languages, which include the medias, writing, reading and speech. My wife is of Latino decent and also carries some of my enthusiasm for the business community.
I do believe the challenge presented to a newly hired CEO, regarding the need for change was based on market competition, it could be: “why was it not simply enough to include diversity as a part of the mission statement”. Given that competition was the primary driver, the CEO has his center established.
It would make sense to visit and plan with an outside source or sources experienced in building diversity from with in. Equally important, what products, if any, are being sold to groups whom are considered diverse. We are a consulting firm, 1000 strong and needing outside help to begin our journey to multinational diversity.
I have been instructed from the Leadership Book that most fundamental changes come from the leadership and must be supported by leadership as ideas and action to become a paradigm change in mission.
During my undergraduate years languages became more than just an academic pursuit, I could enjoy conversations with other cultures than just Spanish and French, they knew if I was interested in languages; I was wanted to participate in Diversity. During the interviewing process, diversity was the primary reason for accepting the position. I made clear that our success would require a cultural change across the firm, and outside resources would be needed to facilitate the plan.
Signage, memo’s and other forms of communication had been written in 7 worldly languages during a previous position, which took years to become useful and we loved the word patience. Here we don’t have the luxury of time, only financial results.
My suggestion was that if products were shipped to an area speaking a combination of English and another language, directions would be printed in at least 3 languages. Advertising would do the same. Our employees would be offered classes in diversity and languages here on campus or an accredited facility and be paid for attendance.
There have been some questions from folks this first week, did we mean the firm was proceeding to diversify our product line or what did we mean by diversity. Clearly there are people associating the word diversify with what is being produced now, which is a valid assumption. Everything at this firm centers on what products are produced, the shift would need to center on both current and new products being sold in areas of the world that few of us have ever visited, but more importantly a beginning of what diversity will deliver within our work force. Usually that means identifying ethnicity, ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds based on Caucasian, Native American, Latino, Islander, Asian etc. Our current work culture is predominantly Caucasian and Latino.
Now to the outside instructions from the professionals:
To help build an effective working team, engage planners and leaders in
team-building experiences and provide educational materials about
diversity and organizational change.
Determine a budget for the diversity initiative.
Identify other individuals who can be called upon to assist the effort.
Clarify time commitments and expectations for all participants.
Establish a calendar of regularly scheduled meetings for diversity
Establish a short term plan for the next stage of the initiative.
Consider hiring a consultant to assist with planning and implementation.
(source: http://www.tsne.org/atf/cf/%7BD1930FAD-18A8-4D53-BBA2-A2971E3DEE1A%7D/Brch_Achieving_Diversity.pdf )
After being hired, I had visited with members of the workforce for input, what would they do to market our products in areas we have not yet penetrated. The most immediate answer was: let’s learn from the competition, seek help from outside people who have connections with marketing exporters. We are currently marketing in a regional area known as the East Coast.
Was centering Diversity on larger markets the best approach, or because we wanted to enrich our work force and include people who were not currently part of the work force. I noted there were few Asian or African American peoples.
August 6, 2011
TO: Venture Consulting members
FROM: Doug Dunn, CEO
Our firm has enjoyed successful relationships with clients for decades, our people are regarded as the regional consulting firm to get a project from idea to completion.
We are embarking on a paradigm shift, diversifying our workforce and mission to provide services in a multi national environment. In the last several years requests have been made to assist peoples around the world, which have been referred to direct competitors.
Our leadership is mandating services which will add people from other cultures to our firm. Outside services have been contracted to devise a plan. The essential elements are as follows.
Offices will be opened in an agreement with an established multinational firm, in Western Europe, The Mediterranean, Australia, Canada, South America and the Orient during the next two years.
Diversity will include moving to any of the locations for 6 month learning experiences with professionals from the multi national we are in agreement with. Yes, benefits will be increased and compensation will too.
The regional offices here are having people added to bring cultural attitudes from the locations mentioned. These folks will learn about our historical heritage; engaging their own cultural diversity with ours.
The budget for this ongoing change is established and will increase as we are in need.
We have identified the basic teams which will be: Language, Traditions, Marketing, Project Management. People from worldly offices, current members, and folks coming in will all be on each team. Weekly meetings will conducted using face to face and internet supported software.
I will be sending out weekly updates to everyone world wide in all languages, what is happening each week and what objectives we are working on for the week. They will be short, and you all may respond at will. My team will assist me with your individual responses.
The first meeting will center on “What we are doing with diversity”.
Introducing ourselves to each other
Why we are doing the change.
Why diversity now?
The “business case for diversity” theorizes that, in a global marketplace, a company that employs a diverse workforce (both men and women, people of many generations, people from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds etc.) is better able to understand the demographics of the marketplace it serves and is thus better equipped to thrive in that marketplace than a company that has a more limited range of employee demographics.
See you at the first meeting, 8-11-11, there will be an email with the software connection and directions to sign in prior to our first meeting time. Yes this means you don’t need to leave your desk, you can see and hear others at the meeting and they can see, hear, and what you write. There will be 100 meetings being held for our current 1000 people. Attendance will be your login in.