Foresight and diversity

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Estelle Métayer in her article Boards of directors: less oversight, more foresight?, said:

“As long as boards of directors remain homogeneous, they will, by definition, be biased. One of the solutions is to force diversity among board members in order to bring in the external expertise necessary for the future of the company. This diversity might be geographical, such as including on the board an independent board member who, for example, knows China well. Diversity might also be linked to bringing in new skills (such as including a board member who understands the issues related to social media) or even match more closely the segmentation of the customers.”

However, diversity is not always  a good idea. At tomate, we think that if we want to succeed in a diversified world the board of directors should have the ability to celebrate the differences or experience them within a serenity framework that will take full advantage of this greater diversity.

We must learn to live in diversity and this learning is not cognitive but emotional, basically. We shape our personalities in sharing diverse backgrounds and if there is diversity, change is more enriching. But if we cannot co-exist in diversity, it is better to have a more homogeneous board of directors, even with the blindness this necessarily implies. If we want to build a better board of directors, then we must have the means to live in this state of greater diversity that allows generating more value for everyone if each director validates others even if they do not share his or her opinion. Living in diversity as an attribute to foresee is like running the Ironman; it is not just go and run. We must learn and “train”, basically  putting ourselves in the others’ shoes to understand why they say what they say, as a valid observer for who does not share his or her opinion. to

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