Leveraging Diversity at Work
 

Are You Ready to Profit From Our Differences?

 

About the Authors Kim Olver

Kim Olver, MS, NCC, LPC has been involved with social service agencies since 1980, holding a variety of positions from case manager to Assistant Executive Director to Director of Training & Development. She has consulted on training, leadership development, diversity, treatment programs and management styles. She has a graduate degree in counseling.

Slyvester Baugh


Sylvester Baugh
has been involved in the field of training and communications since 1980. He worked over 20 years for Aunt Martha’s, a full service child welfare program, where he fulfilled many positions. He has done training for various agencies, including United Airlines, in the fields of diversity, bullying, communication skills, and negotiation. He has a degree in communications.


Marcus Gentry

Marcus C. Gentry is the founder and president of A MasterMind Creation (AMC), and is the founder and creator of the R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Academy and Program, which uses a combination of scientifically research-based methods and principles that produces a practical and commonsense approach to successful living and induces lifelong learning with a focus on race-specific areas. He is truly an empowerment expert with keen insight into the needs of minorities in the United States.

 

A diverse workforce is one of your greatest assets, yet precious few companies have learned to leverage its power. Beyond recruitment and hiring, many businesses fall short when it comes to retention and motivation of the diverse workforce they worked so hard to employ. For minority employees, the missing piece is often a strong sense of self and an appreciation for who they are and what they offer.

Leveraging Diversity at Work goes beyond calling for diversity to give business leaders the knowledge and tools they need to profit from our differences. Minority workers will also find real-world inspiration for contributing to their company’s vision, mission and success.

This book helps companies who understand the value of diversity to build, retain and leverage the diverse workforce they need to be competitive in this country, as well as the global market. The book starts in the very beginning where most books and training programs don’t. Before any executive can implement long term organizational change, the company must ensure the cooperation and conviction of its employees. I am reminded of the saying, “If you think you are leading and no one is following, then you are just out for a walk.”

What Diversity Experts are Saying About
Leveraging Diversity at Work:

A bottom-line, rubber-meets-the-road guide to profiting from the diversity you worked so hard to create. A must-read for all business professionals.

- Kenton Clarke, Diversity Business

We must go beyond just having a diverse workforce, inclusion is the key that will lead to profits...this book with show you the way to diversity inclusion!

—Cecilia Chavez
President of Competitive Edge Consulting

"Kim and Sylvester have taken a fresh approach to teaching workplace diversity. Rather than simply stating facts and preaching about the importance of cultural competence, they have interjected their own personal experiences of facing challenging interactions both in the workplace and in their private lives. Sharing their personal stories makes the learning process all that more real. In addition, they use very good metaphors to make important points--again a much more instructive tool than dryly stating rules and regulations. Kim and Sylvester start the diversity learning process at the beginning by asking the reader to look at him or herself. They gently challenge the reader to explore myths, beliefs and prejudices while guiding him/her to the realization that much of the prejudices and stereotypes we all bring to the table are not of our own making but are, in a sense, inherited from our own life-upbringing. The authors go on to lead the reader into the possibility that our old lenses can be changed and we can choose to see things differently--from a more open, tolerant learning perspective. They give the reader permission to forgive him/herself for past mistakes and intolerances, while at the same time putting the responsibility on the reader to be the force of change."

--Leslie Wright
Behavioral Health Researcher,
Diversity Trainer and Community Activist

 

“I really like what this book is saying. I have prided myself as being liberal and sensitive to minorities, but Kim and Sylvester point out things that I hadn’t realized.”

--Despina Gurlides, Editor

"It was my honor to be allowed by Kim and Sylvester to contribute a chapter to this book. The universe operates effectively based on balance. Today's society has become diverse in schools , many communities and in the workplace. It is my belief that unless our thinking allows us to leverage this diversity or find the balance that we are now a part of, we will be less than effective. Albert Einstein says: ‘We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them’. This is a new age of existence and culture. This book helps those interested in increasing their effectiveness to be able to adjust their thinking by learning the skills necessary for leveraging diversity while developing a better understanding of cultures that become a part of the work place. A must-read for all employers who seek to remain on the cutting edge."

--Marcus C. Gentry
www.marcusgentry.com

"I am the Wallet Doctor because of my Ph.D. in finance. Because of this, few people know that I hold a master of international management from Thunderbird — the premiere university graduate program in international business. A required course in Thunderbird's curriculum is "Cross-Cultural Communication." The reason for this is because of the enormous conflicts and faux pas by "ugly Americans." Corporations lose billions of dollars annually due to inappropriate responses from perceived cultural separation. I remember a Rotary GSA Exchange between Brazil and California I participated in. The leader, a prominent California banker, although skilled in banking finance, understood nothing about managing diversity. In my absence on one weekend of the exchange, one member of the group committed a faux pas in Brazilian high society that was so grave that when I later became aware of it I discovered that we were slated for deportation. I was able to heal the separation between cultures only by applying knowledge from my graduate studies in international business to get the wealthy and powerful Brazilians I was dealing with to understand "the other side." This same knowledge is in this book. For this very reason Kim and Sylvester's book, "Leveraging Diversity at Work" should be required reading for every person interested in entering corporate management."

--Dr. Scott Brown, Ph.D., MIM,
a.k.a. "The Wallet Doctor"

You’ll learn how to:

  • Move beyond “valuing” diversity to leveraging its power
  • Get buy-in from everyone before imposing diversity initiatives
  • Reduce turnover by keeping people motivated to perform
  • Eliminate stagnation at entry-level positions
  • Convert “equal opportunity” to an advantage at upper levels of management
  • Ensure follow-through on training and program implementation

Leveraging Diversity at Work lays the foundation for the transformational work that must be done first with every member of a company. First of all, the members of the majority culture---in the business community that is generally white, upper middle class males---must understand the reason why managing diversity is in the company’s best interest. Then, they must develop some empathy for what it truly is like for members of the minority culture. Only after that inside out work is accomplished will a managing diversity program be effective. Without the internal mindset sift, any diversity initiatives will be undermined, either consciously or subconsciously by the majority culture and those in positions of power.

Another thing that makes this book unique is that it addresses the responsibility of minorities in creating an environment where diversity is valued. Until members of a minority culture can embrace who they are and recognize the true value that they bring to the table, it makes it difficult for others to value what they have to offer. This book helps minorities develop a strong sense of self and an appreciation for what they have and who they are so that they can solidly add to their company’s vision, mission and strategic planning.

Leveraging Diversity at Work: How to Hire, Retain and Inspire a Diverse Workforce for Peak Performance and Profit is the book that will truly assist companies in their journey toward cultural competence and a true sense of valuing diversity from both a personal and business perspective.

This Book Is a Great Investment:

We designed this book with you in mind. We know you are busy. We know how tedious it can be to read some of the technical business books that are out there. We wrote our book in storytelling style so it will be something you will enjoy reading. This won’t be a book you buy and then leave sitting on your shelf.

The book starts in the very beginning where most books and training programs don’t. Before any executive can implement long term organizational change, the company must ensure the cooperation and conviction of its employees. I am reminded of the saying, “If you think you are leading and no one is following, then you are just out for a walk.”

Leveraging Diversity at Work lays the foundation for the transformational work that must be done first with every member of a company. First of all, the members of the majority culture—in the business community that is generally white, upper middle class males—must understand the reason why managing diversity is in the company’s best interest. Then, they must develop some empathy for what it truly is like for members of the minority culture. Only after that inside out work is accomplished will a managing diversity program be effective. Without the internal mindset sift, any diversity initiatives will be undermined, either consciously or subconsciously by the majority culture and those in positions of power.

Yes, you can regulate behavior as long as you are there to “catch” people when they aren’t behaving as you’d like, but if you want true compliance with diversity incentives, then you must create an environment where workers understand the value and importance of embracing differences. Our book starts in that very place.

All Employees will Develop an Understanding of Their Own Culture and Biases:

Many companies have avoided diversity training that really gets at the root of the issues because when they look around at their workers, everyone seems to be getting along fine. There doesn’t seem to be much disharmony on the surface and they are afraid to talk about differences because that may “stir up things.” Well, in order to stir things up, there must be something there to stir in the first place!

We all have cultural values and influences that determine our behavior on a moment-to-moment basis. Most of these things occur on such an automatic, nonconscious level that we are really at the mercy of our early conditioning. Bringing these issues to consciousness and closely examining them is the only way to really impact our thinking and subsequently, our behaviors from the inside out.

When done well, good diversity initiatives provide a road map for the entire company or organization to follow. This creates a workplace where everyone is aware of the direction of the company and understands his or her role in supporting that vision. Everyone can be on the same page at the same time.

When employees have experienced the type of preparation this book endorses, then they will have the internal motivation to embrace difference. You won’t have to be standing over their shoulder to get them to cooperate. External supervision will not be necessary for most employees.

Leveraging Diversity At Work Will you Assist You in Creating a Profitable Workforce Environment

        • Decrease Gossip in the Workplace

        • Decrease Time Mediating Disputes between Employees

        • Prevent Discrimination Litigation

        • Create a Respectful Workplace for Everyone

        • Improve Employee Morale

        • Reduce Paid Sick Time

        • Create Employee Loyalty

        • Increase Employee Retention

        • Enhance Interpersonal Relationships:

        • Improve Teamwork

        • Create Fresh Ideas for Problem Solution

        • Inspire Creativity

        • Obtain Peak Productivity

        • Generate New Approaches to Marketing

        • Capture New Market Shares

        • Increase Your Profit Margin:

        • Create an Action Commitment for Change

   

This book will help you assess the strengths of your company as it is now and provide you with action steps for the future to improve what already exists. Ensure follow-through on training and program implementation. You will have a direction and many concrete examples of where to go from here.

Leveraging Diversity at Work: How to Hire, Retain and Inspire a Diverse Workforce for Peak Performance and Profit is the book that will truly assist companies in their journey toward cultural competence and a true sense of valuing diversity from both a personal and business perspective.

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