For several years the companies have been trying to increase their diversity. Diversity is essential for companies being global.
How to grow in emerging markets if your headquarters is in Europe or USA? Learn how the countries live, adapt to them, think like them, right?
During today’s breakfast my father in law, a art director from publicity agency, retired and having experience in several companies had made a great comment:
“I have worked in several agencies, and the agencies ended up always being the owner’s head. The owner could change the whole group of directors, the number of times they wanted, but the agency ended up always being the owner’s head – do you know why? Because by the end, as creative people are, they want to please their bosses, they want to present projects and changes that will be easily accepted, by who? By the owners…”
🙂 For us, who are the diversity and believe in our way of working, the difficult lies on creating trust, that our leadership, as different as it can be from the europeans or americans, can work.
I ask the women and Latinos, how many times have you heard during a feed back session “you should be less emotional, you should control your temperament” At the same time you hear “what makes you the professional you are is your passion, your intensity”.
I have heard it as “you should be less woman, less Latina”, but “Being a Latina, a woman is what makes you special”.
The point is that in order to get your ideas and your objectives through the “owners of the agency” you have to think like them, know them, meaning that after a certain time, “being different” does not help when you are in the way to get closer to the “owner of the agency”.
So, what is the solution? All experts already told – more than having the diversity is working on inclusion before working on diversity, is teaching to the “owners of the agency” how the new director team work, how the diverse think, behave, to understand the environment where they work. Accepting that a Latino working in Latin America might know better how to solve problems and lead the teams, accepting that different is different and not trying to translate this to the “owners of the agency” language…
My biggest lesson learnt in my latest experience is that the Diversity is really wished, because everybody does know that this is essential for the further growth of the multinationals, but the acceptance is still not at the level we would expect. Basically because there is still people who think that “the teams should adapt to me, my reports should adapt to my style of leadership” more than respecting and listening and adapting to your co-workers…
While the owners of the agency will still be one set of individuals, it does not matter how much diversity you will have on the layers down, the result of the diversity will not be seen. This is my take away lesson.
On the other side, it means, that, from us the diverse group, also the expectation showed should be measured, and we should not go so deep into what is talked, but we should be able to see where the limits are, so the frustration will not be the result of the efforts that we make!
By the end, the emerging markets are the place to be, if you come from an emerging market, manage your expectation, but be sure that we are needed, be there to support, be there to show how we work, be there to support the grow that can be achieve in our countries with support of this investment from outside!
…But do this with lots of love, patience and … …passion!!