By Neil Steggall FAICD - CEO & Co Founder at: Wardour Capital Partners, Specialists in Corporate Funding & Acquisitions
Diversity and Change are catalysts to growth and development, to new ideas and to improvement throughout the world in which we live. Darwin’s evolution of the species demonstrated how through diversity and change the world is able to constantly evolve and improve.
Why then are so many of us suspicious of both diversity and change, why do we fight to protect the status quo? Is it as simple as a fear of the unknown? It brings to mind Franklin D Roosevelt’s famous speech “….the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself”
If we are to get the best outcome from any human endeavour we require continuing diversity and change at all levels. Diversity of age, experience, education, gender, race, outlook and expectation, imagine a team encompassing such diversity tackling the big and complex issues within your business. Can you envision the team’s potency and its potential to drive change?
Increasingly business is global, multi-cultural and can no longer assume the gender of decision makers on either buy or sell side transactions. Successful teams and organisations need to reflect this diversity and change to embrace it.
Managing change requires both vision and courage but the rewards are enormous, when we think of Apple today we think of iPhone’s and iPad’s first and computers second. This reflects their ability and capacity to change and yet it still overlooks their leading edge position as a global leader in integrated retailing.
The days of proud “national manufacturers” are a fading memory as global organisations position differing operations in the global location most suited. R&D may take place in California, IP is held in Ireland, manufacturing close to the source of labour or raw materials. Management and staff are drawn from universities and institutions from all points of the globe and across many faculties.
A modern corporate board is just as likely to include a female graduate in PP&E as a male holding an MBA. Shareholders are increasingly focused on “whole of business” concept as opposed to the out dated “short term profit” position. The CBA board must now be wishing it could wind back the clock a few years to avoid its current publicity.
Change isn't always good, some mistakes will always be made but hand in hand with diversity we are now more open to the faster assessment of ideas and their success or failure and prepared to act quickly to recognise mistakes, clear them out and move forward.
Don’t just accept diversity and change, embrace them, use them and remember:-
“….the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself” - Franklin D Roosevelt