by David C. Wigglesworth, Ph.D.
Diversity to Work: What to know and do to get the best out of a
Simma Lieberman, George Simons and Kate Berardo.
Fifty-Minute Series Book from Crisp Publications, a division of
Course Technology/Thomson Learning. http://www.crisplearning.com.
Ph +1 800-442-7477; fax +1 650-323-5800.
115 pages, ISBN: 1-56052-695-5. Price: $13.95. October 2003
when you think that everything has been written about diversity,
you come across a new work that opens up your eyes and your thoughts
and steers you to new perspectives on the subject. This is a tremendously
powerful, highly valuable, extremely practical, and keenly insightful
book by Lieberman, Simons, and Berardo.
Diversity to Work is a wonderful can-do workbook that we come to
expect from Crisp Publications. These books are designed to be read
with a pencil in hand either by yourself or in tandem with a friend
or colleague. They are also useful in classroom situations. This
book can be utilized in the above ways but I think it will be most
useful in facilitated workshops which can allow for a greater sharing
of knowledge and perspectives.
an interactive foreword we are asked to assess where we feel we
and our organization are relative to the business case for diversity.
It is a stimulating exercise that helps to prepare us for the rest
of the text.
One address the enabling of your organization. It looks at: building
the business case for diversity and focuses on profit, people, and
the planet. It calls for making a map of your shareholders and developing
a threes stage process for creating stakeholder synergy to support
your diversity effort and develop a business strategy to continuously
gain a competitive advantage. Additionally, part one calls for benchmarking
best practices and it provides ways of measuring success through
an acronym, ROIC - Return on Investment Capital that underscores
the characteristics of a successful diversity initiative. ROIC equals
Relevant, Owned by all, Inclusive, and Complete.
Two is concerned with developing ourselves that includes looking
at our own values and knowing our own biases and assumptions. It
discusses common ideas about diversity, what it actually is, and
how to think outside the box. In various exercises we look at differences
in the workplace, learning about others, and steps to take to become
a diversity leader in our organizations.
Three gets to some of the nitty-gritty of diversity efforts as we
view such topics as: what managers must know and DO, face to face
communication, gathering input from employees, and diversity and
new ways of working. This section has two sidebars: Ten Tips for
Managing Multicultural Employees and Ten Tips for E-Mailing across
Borders and Cultures. While not presented as panaceas these tips
are great guides that can enhance our effectiveness.
Four brings it all together addressing the Empowerment of Diversity
by recruiting for diversity, assessing one's interviewing skills,
introducing new people, retaining the best people, and promoting
the best candidates. Also, we look at encouraging diverse leadership
styles that include hearing from everyone and mapping the diversity
challenges. The section concludes with perceptions on managing people
in conflict and dealing with sexual harassment issues.
the back of the book we find authors' notes on the exercises and
case studies and an impressive and helpful list of resources.
is unique about this book, aside from the fresh inputs it offers,
is that by reading the material and doing the exercises we can become
more competent in providing enabling diversity leadership in our
organizations. The authors have provided a real service to the profession
in producing this valuable work. I heartily recommend it to one
C. Wigglesworth, Ph.D., an interculturalist, is an international
management and organization development consultant with D.C.W. Research
Associates International, 2606 Parkdale Drive, Kingwood, Texas 77339-2476
USA. Tel: 281-359-4234; E-mail