10 Chapters
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1 Managing Workforce Representation

Thomas, R. Roosevelt Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

CEOs and other senior executives initiated the Managing Workforce Representation strategy (quadrant) in the 1960s to address the “diversity problem” of mainstreaming African Americans into their organizations. It is one of the two original organizational diversity management efforts—and the one that most people think of when they speak of diversity. The other strategy was Managing Workforce Relationships.

In the spirit of the civil rights laws and the civil rights movement, those senior managers sought to remove barriers to having descendants of slaves involved (represented) in their organizations. They sought this representation not for the sake of diversity or for the benefit of their organizations, but rather to make amends for past injustices.

On the surface, recruiting and hiring African Americans should have been rather straightforward. Yet it wasn’t. These leaders encountered an unexpected complication. Though willing, they were unprepared and lacked experience to recruit and select African Americans for professional, managerial, and skilled positions.

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7 The Dynamics of Strategies and Paradigms

Thomas, R. Roosevelt Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

CEOs seeking effectiveness with all four of the core diversity management strategies (quadrants) must master the dynamics of strategies and paradigms. Otherwise, their ability to move between the strategies as required by World-Class Diversity Management will be hampered. World class will require that an organization’s prevailing paradigms and intended strategies are in sync.

This chapter examines some of the dynamics of using the four diversity management strategies and their undergirding paradigms in pursuit of World-Class Diversity Management. It particularly explores how the core strategies and paradigms provide a path to World-Class Diversity Management capability.

As noted earlier, I see this capability as the ability to employ best practices from anywhere to address any diversity mixture, in any setting (workforce, workplace, marketplace, community, family, for example), and in any geographic location. This status is dynamic, not static. As practices inherent in the strategies that contribute to the universal approach continue to evolve, so will those associated with World-Class Diversity Management.

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8 Jeff Kilt

Thomas, R. Roosevelt Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Inevitably, CEOs experience a crisis that tests them. To respond effectively, they have to draw upon their personal strengths, their sense of what is right, and also the wisdom and practices of others. This chapter presents a picture of Jeff Kilt, CEO of Bjax Corporation, as he struggles to control a crisis that could harm his company’s image and, indeed, threaten its viability. It begins with descriptions of the company and Kilt and their efforts to look at the nagging challenge and examine how it has been handled.

Bjax Corporation offers a wide variety of consumer products that are manufactured and sold around the world. While the bulk of its customers are in the United States, in recent years it has grown rapidly through acquisitions and now manufactures, sells, and distributes products worldwide. Since its 1915 founding in Philadelphia, the company has enjoyed a reputation for high quality and competitively priced goods. In several niches, Bjax’s products offer the greatest value per dollar spent.

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5 Strategic Diversity Management Process

Thomas, R. Roosevelt Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

After CEOs have recognized the Four Quadrants and determined that their core diversity management strategies might have utility, additional questions surface: “Are all strategies equally valued?” “Or is one more valued than another?” “How do we get our arms around the Four Quadrants?” “Where do we start?” “How do we actualize the core strategies?” “Are we, perhaps, overcomplicating matters?”

CEOs with these questions will find the Strategic Diversity Management Process (SDMP) to be invaluable. This process can both provide a lens through which these issues can be addressed, and help to implement the quadrants’ core diversity management strategic prescriptions. To highlight the actualization role of the SDMP, I briefly review below what I have said about the four diversity management strategies.

I contended earlier that diversity management in the United States around race, ethnicity, and gender is evolving from three workforce-specific strategies: Managing Workforce Representation, Managing Workforce Relationships, and Managing Diverse Talent. Over the years, additional workforce dimensions have emerged. These include sexual orientation, age, geographic origin, physical ability, religion and national origin, class, education, and others.

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9 Reflections of Jeff Kilt

Thomas, R. Roosevelt Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Six years after his business school classroom visit, Jeff and his professor friend Andrew Jones reflected on the changes Jeff and Bjax went through as he worked to revive both the enter-prise’s and his own reputation following the diversity fiasco. These reflections were part of a presentation to a CEO roundtable on diversity convened by Andrew. What follows is a summary of Jeff’s reflections, which Andrew presented in the alumni magazine. Andrew also intended to use the article in his class.

Roughly six years before, Jeff had received a group of African American community leaders, who sided with African American Bjax associates in their concerns about inadequate upward mobility for people of color at Bjax, and also the failure of Bjax to address “raw” racism. About a month later, these individuals and a small group of African American employees set up and walked a picket line in front of Bjax headquarters.

Reactions came swiftly. Internally, the Bjax community by and large felt betrayed and considered the picketing action unwarranted. Most whites felt that Jeff had been very responsive to concerns of African Americans, and that he would have worked through the current issues if he had been given a chance. The African Americans who did not join the protest line also thought such an action was premature. Those who did march cited as their motivation Jeff’s “semantics mumble jumble about diversity and what ever” as opposed to practical hardhitting attacks on “runaway racism” at Bjax.

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