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Integrating the Diversity of Individuals into the Organization’s Culture

  • The individual is the ultimate minority and therefore the greatest source of the capacity for bringing the best possible variety of skill, ideas, potential and creativity to an organization.
  • To believe that group identity is superior to the individuals is demeaning, divisive, dangerous has no basis or validity in science.
  • Humans are fundamentally and genetically social animals, naturally oriented to be part of a group (clan) that looks like us, acts similarly, speaks our language, lives where and like we do and has our same/compatible core values.
  1. Yet, there is also a great deal of historical evidence that the existence of long-term homogeneity, conformity, order and stability breeds complacency, stagnation and corruption.
  2. Therefore, every organization or society, in order to grow and be sustainable, must be able to embrace the “Revolutionary Hero”.

    …The revolutionary hero (that is, a visiting stranger from another unfamiliar group) reorders the protective structure of society, when the emergence of an anomaly makes such reordering necessary. He is, therefore, the agent of change, upon whose actions all stability is predicated. This capacity—which should make him a welcome figure in the community—is exceedingly threatening to those completely encapsulated by the status quo, and who are unable or unwilling to see where the present state of adoption is incomplete and where residual danger lies. The archetypal revolutionary hero therefore faces the danger and rejection of his peers, as well as the terrors of the absolutely unknown. He is nonetheless the “best friend” of the state…The hero detects the dragon, or at least admits to its presence, before anyone else and leads the charge…His return to the Kingdom of threatened order may hardly be accompanied by praise, however, since the information he now carries (or perhaps is) will appear disruptive and destructive long before it proves redemptive…” (pgs. 271 & 279 Maps of Meaning, by Jordan B. Peterson, Routledge 1999.)
  3. The unknown always caries great risk and threat of danger, as well as great opportunity and innovative potential. Nevertheless, the later only can occur in a culture of high mutual trust, openness, transparency and safety.
  4. Organization leaders committed to integrating individuals within two distinct cultures (such as in a merger or acquisition) or hiring to their entity, are alert to avoid the temptation of imposing the most powerful and influential culture on top of and into the least powerful, ensuring that each individual is welcomed and included in either creating a whole new culture out of both groups or enriching and complimenting the existing one.