The Revolution at Work: Diversity in Companies in Europe; European Diversity Forum, XXIe Siecle & AMFD, The revolution at Wo

The European Diversity Forum 2012 (FED) held in Paris on 2nd & 3rd July 2012. Co-organised by Club XXIe Siècle (21st Century Club) and the French Association of Diversity Managers (AFMD), it is probably the largest quality event on Diversity & Inclusion in Europe.

European Diversity Research & Consulting is an international partner of the European Diversity Forum and contributed to the event.

It brings together hundreds of practitioners, experts, academics and special interest experts. In plenary sessions and workshops, they discussed about new trends and developments. You can read a summary of Michael Stuber’s presentation “The revolution of work” here.Revolution means a fundamental change of a structural order. Is it right to call a more complex workplace a revolution? Somehow, yes. At the workplace you can observe visible components of a silent revolution that took place within our society.

A lot of developments in the past led to changes. As a result, we will have a distributed and network oriented system, knowledge and human resources as new success factors and a more international and emotional culture.

That means a revolution for the established hierarchical and linear system that has to face an environment with more complex and virtual structures, innovation and workforce as new success factors and a more value-oriented culture.

Revolution means movement. Hence, keeping everything as it was cannot be the answer. Or in the words of Barrack Obama: „For the World has changed and we must change with it.“

Concerning social change, there are three core topics: Changing demographics, changing values and changing relationships. These aspects influence both the internal and external level.

Demographic change implies a variety of stakeholders on the internal level and a diverse market on the external level. This, in turn, leads to individual needs and a preference structure as consequence of an associated change in values. The relational change is the third core topic. It is expressed by internal relationships and work-life on the internal level and by external relations and image on the external level. The interaction of these components leads to results.

Let us consider the evolution of the revolution: It begins with differences and diversity. Combined with dignity at work and valuing diversity, the first similarities turn up. They are the basis for Managing Diversity and a Code of Conduct. They provide the foundation for Inclusion and further steps.

This is what the Propelling Potential Principle says: respect diversity attentively, meet diversity with open-mindedness, include it actively, and synergy will be the outcome.

D&I contribute to strategic corporate priorities like productivity, growth, innovation, globalisation, and war for talent. That is one reason why you should be prepared for the ongoing revolution.

Keep in mind, as the Propelling Potential Principle, D&I:

§ Focuses on strengths and resources

§ Is an economic approach

§ Can – and shall – be systematically and consistently applied across all areas, groups and across the organisation

§ The complexity of D&I is one of its key assets – keep it!

§ D&I is easy to start but difficult to maintain or sustain

§ The Business Case is clear and robust, but too little engagement in D&I cannot deliver miracles: No return without investment

§ Change is at the heart of D&I – stay professional in managing the process and the stakeholders