Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Making diversity policy and training effective

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2009 at 5:47 pm

 The following was mentioned in a really interesting comment discussion I was having  the other day after the recent post on diversity.

 “despite hearing this word everday and being part of a "minority" group …, it was quite challenging to simplify what it means to me as an individual….. In a workplace, could an organisation truly embrace the meaning of the word? Is it enough to put up inclusive posters, hire "representatives" of cultures? Is one enough to represent a culture? Does it make the organization practice diversity? One keeps wondering…”

In a word YES. It is definitely possible for an organisation to embrace the meaning of the word and it can be a real comparative advantage if they do.

Sadly a lot of organisations struggle to understand what embracing diversity is really all about.

Dennis T. Jaffe and Cynthia D. Scott, Normal Transition Curve:Managing organisational change, Los Altos, Ca Crisp Publications, 1989 Combined with Conceptual Model of Diversity(La Fasto 1992), Baxter Healthcare Corporation in Jackson, B.W, Lafasto, Fschultz, H.G. and Kelly D. ‘Diversity’ in Human Resource Management, 31 (1 and 2) p.28 John Wiley and Sons Inc 1992

The diagram above shows a typical response to change; from shock and denial in the beginning through to commitment and resolution when the need to change has become accepted.  This has been partnered with another graph showing the typical response to diversity over time.

The type of behaviour described in the post, putting up posters and hiring token individuals is typical of those organisations that haven't really come to terms with what embracing diversity has to offer.  

Everyone is different so having a single individual who is representative of a group demographically will make an organisation more diverse (which is good) but it doesn't mean that the organisation is embracing diversity. Putting up posters is nice but is really only good if the organisations culture is to read and act on what the posters say, which in my experience is rare.

An organisation that really embraces diversity understands what diversity has to offer as well as what it costs in terms of compliance. 
Many organisations seemingly support and embrace diversity publicly and many more are compliant with diversity legislation but very few of these actually value diversity when it comes down to improving their effectiveness.

Embracing Diversity the Short version

It needs more than cosmetic changes.

Managing Diversity isn’t just about Equal opportunities and discrimination. 

It’s not just about getting a new training regime in place and it isn’t just a Training or HR concern it’s important to everyone everywhere in the organisation. 
An organisation that embraces diversity  has embedded good practice in their values and actions (it becomes part of the culture). 
It's not rocket science its about having a commitment to helping  people understand people. 

Inclusion isn’t’ enough!

An important part of managing diversity is giving diverse people access to the workplace. 

It’s not just about that though, it is also about keeping them and getting the most out of them once they are there. 
Having people from a minority group or even having them in charge isn’t enough. 
Managing diversity means learning to work with difference of all types. 
Just because people belong to a group doesn’t make them the same. 
Diversity is just as relevant to two white middle class men whose conflicting styles of thinking and operating lead to difficulties as it is to people from so called minority groups.

Putting the Ideals into practice

  • Self Awareness –understand yourself so you are aware of what you bring to the workplace
  • Respect – have respect for difference, this means respecting others and yourself
  • Constructive Activity – be proactive about making diversity work for you and your organisation
  • Flexibility – be prepared for change, respond positively to situations that are difficult, challenging or new

 I will post more on this including additional practical principles of diversity in action in future posts.

Posted via email from Urban Ascetic


watch zombies for free

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Ok as a special treat for Halloween here's a link to the granddaddy of all zombie films George A. Romero Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Posted via email from Urban Ascetic

Forget the boston tea party it’s all about the lemonade

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2009 at 10:12 pm

I never Imagined lemonade could cause such a fuss.

Posted via email from wrdeer

Living without money

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2009 at 10:08 pm

These guys actually manage to live without money.

Urban ascetic is about eliminating what you don't need and maximising your effectiveness in society.  
I don't think it would be possible to do this if you gave up using money all together.
These guys make you think though, just what could you eliminate if you took things a little further?

So modern hermits,bums, scavengers or exemplars what do you think ?

Posted via email from Urban Ascetic

flying adverts

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2009 at 5:08 pm
I really hope this doesn't catch on or it would be really annoying.

Posted via email from wrdeer


In Uncategorized on October 29, 2009 at 11:03 pm

GOOD is the self proclaimed social site for people with a social conscience.  
They have a social network, a magazine and a series of very slickly syndicated blog content. 
Some are bound to say it’s a sell out or a forum for corporate puff pieces to massage public images. 
I have some sympathy with this view, but if ethical living is going to go mainstream then this kind of inside the tent approach may have some legs.  
The fact that they have Wal-Mart featured as the patron of their first top 100 good ideas is certainly indicative of their very, very inclusive and forgiving approach. 
The philosophy of praise the good and hope that gives you power to change the bad seems to be in effect here.
I’ve adopted the approach if you see someone trying to do GOOD then its best to get involved and help out if you can. 
So I’ve joined the network and will be posting over there from time to time. It will be interesting to see how the site and the network develop. 
As with all this stuff it’s probably best to make up your own mind. 
I’d be very interested to hear what anyone else makes of it though.

Posted via email from Urban Ascetic

At this point in my life

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2009 at 9:00 pm
Great song great lyrics, Tracy Chapmans seminal : At this point in my life

At this point in my life
Ive done so many things wrong I don’t know if I can do right
If you put your trust in me I hope I wont let you down
If you give me a chance I’ll try
You see it’s been a hard road the road Im traveling on
And if I take your hand I might lead you down the path to ruin
Ive had a hard life Im just saying it so you’ll understand
That right now, right now, Im doing the best I can

At this point in my life
Although Ive mostly walked in the shadows
Im still searching for the light
Wont you put your faith in me
We both know that’s what matters
If you give me a chance I’ll try
You see Ive been climbing stairs but mostly stumbling down
Ive been reaching high always losing ground
You see Ive been reaching high but always losing ground
You see Ive conquered hills but I still have mountains to climb
And right now right now Im doing the best I can
At this point in my life

Before we take a step
Before we walk down that path
Before I make any promises
Before you have regrets
Before we talk commitment
Let me tell you of my past
All Ive seen and all Ive done
The things I’d like to forget

At this point in my life
Id like to live as if only love mattered
As if redemption was in sight
As if the search to live honestly
Is all that anyone needs
No matter if you find it

You see when Ive touched the sky
The earths gravity has pulled me down
But now Ive reconciled that in this world
Birds and angels get the wings to fly
If you can believe in this heart of mine
If you can give it a try
Then I’ll reach inside and find and give you
All the sweetness that I have
At this point in my life

Posted via email from Urban Ascetic

2D 3D, Photo sculptures

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Simple idea but amazingly implemented.  Gwon Osang  has created a new take on photo collage/photo sculpture. Kind of freaky but amazing at the same time.

I have been fascinated by these images the last few days, so thought I would share them on the blog. 

Posted via email from wrdeer

modern day Cassandra or modern day Malthus ?

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2009 at 12:59 pm

The intense forboding music and the hyperbole of this trailer aside this guy does make some interesting arguments. 
The peak oil debate has been current for quite a while now, so accurate prophet of doom (Cassandra) or overly negative predictor (Malthus) ?you decide.

I think I'm more in the malthus camp myself  but  thats before i've seen the flm 😉

food for thought anyway.

The film is made by Chris Smith  (Yes Men, American Movie ) so im sure it will be a pretty slick documentary.

Posted via email from Urban Ascetic

We Are All Connected

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2009 at 11:30 am

Loved this.……..We've travelled this way before … .and there is much to be learned.

Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye hit the pop charts.

<br><font size=1>We Are All Connected – Watch more Funny Videos</font>

Posted via email from wrdeer