This is the first in a series on the subject of creating sustainable diversity in senior organizational leadership.
I am posing this challenge to business, education, and community leaders. We have a need for not only more leaders, but more effective leaders at a time when women and minorities remain under-represented in senior organizational leadership. How do we create a sustainable solution to this problem?
I encourage your thought leadership on this topic. Please post using the hashtag #HumanLeadership in the title.
As Mahatma Ghandi invited us to do, let's "be the change we wish to see in the world." Wayne Dyer offers, "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." We need new, innovative, dynamic thinking to meet the challenges inherent with the lack of diversity in senior organizational leadership and its implication for better business results.
In May 2015, the Ascend Foundation published their Hidden In Plain Sight study which finds Asians, and all minorities for that matter, have declining representation in the management pipeline (professionals-managers-executives) in 5 top Silicon Valley companies. For Asian women, the challenge is magnified. Sadly, the story remains the same. Years, if not decades of dialogue on this topic have resulted in little progress on this issue. This reality needs to move from not good enough to unacceptable. If the ability of companies to remain competitive and achieve better business results depends on greater innovation, speed to market, and connection with a growingly diverse customer and employee base, what will it take to see meaningful progress on this issue?
As the title of the Ascend Foundation study suggests, what if we (as leaders) challenged our own perceptions and looked beyond what is apparent and asked what are we missing? Let's own this challenge. Let's be the innovative, collaborative, critical-thinking problem solvers we seek in college graduates, employees, and leaders. We need human leadership and forward thinking that allow us to move beyond the current state and tap into the enormous capabilities and potential inherent in each person.
What if, through our efforts to more intentionally develop Asians and others in under-represented groups to capably serve important leadership roles, leaders in education, business, and the community chose to build a systematic, adaptable, sustainable partnership between the education and business communities? Let's build a framework to develop a pipeline of diverse leaders starting in high school, or perhaps junior high school? Earlier, you say? I like where you are looking. What do you see?
"The people who are crazy enough to change the world are the ones who do." - Steve Jobs
Let's be crazy together and create a sustainable framework for developing diversity in senior organizational leadership for the benefit of us all.
Be Bold. Be You. Breakthrough.℠