Its a typical Monday morning. The staff comes in to work in the usual fashion. The beginning of the workweek yet again, however, something is different. Over the past couple of years, sales have been "OK" but you have seen better years in the past. You have shrugged it off and blamed it on the bad economy. Yes, it must be the economy. The worst financial times since the great depression.... Right??
You check your year over year performance and see that the trend is there and starting to pick up speed. Level sales and then decline. Your ears on the street are telling you that your competition is doing just GREAT! They have landed this account that you have been trying to get in the door with for the past 18 months along with a couple others you didn't even know existed. Your competition has almost doubled their staff to accommodate the new business they have acquired.
Why are you on the DECLINE??? You have done EVERYTHING the way you always have!! The marketing, the prospecting, the phone calls, your kick butt sales staff!! You scream inside your head "What is going wrong"??? You have no idea how this is happening and you are clueless as to how it can be stopped.
Eventually, your competition takes the majority of the market share and you are forced to layoff employees and consider if you have the cash flow and sales to make it another year. What happened?
One simple word is what happened... DIVERSITY.
While you were busy doing business as usual. It never occurred to you that business is ANYTHING but usual. Technology has successfully shrank the world to the size of a smartphone. The movers and shakers are shaking things because they are diverse AND mobile. They are moving into areas of opportunity you didn't even know existed let alone was profitable. Unfortunately you have stuck with what worked back in the late 1980's and 1990's. Most importantly, this shows the most in your staff. Everybody "is the same" to the undoing of your organization.
The competitors learned a valuable lesson that your organization perhaps did not see the benefit of investment. The lesson that you must become as diverse as the world you serve.
This story is not fictional. It plays out hundreds of times in hundreds of places all over the country. Leaders of organizations refusing to accept and embrace diversity and inclusion to their own demise. These leaders refused to acknowledge that with diversity comes flexibility. Ultimately, with flexibility comes a competitive edge. You reach a broader audience and a more exact customer base. Your diverse and inclusive staff brings ideas and viewpoints to the table that you would have NEVER been able to come up with staying in a one dimensional world.
Like it or not, diversity and inclusion are the new normal.
The Inclusionist & Job Mingler
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