Walter G Rosen defined the term biodiversity as “the variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms.”
Globalisation and accessibility to new markets mean greater interaction and access between “tribes”, cultures, competition, ideas and knowledge. Organisations are facing a fork in the road and need to choose between holding onto outdated thought patterns and practices or elevating mindsets to take advantage of such a fortuitous time in history.
Leaders are ready to look beyond their current vantage point and expand their vision beyond what they currently know to be able to contribute something new and unique to their existing offerings or ways of doing.
“Biodiversity matters because all organisms within an ecosystem are interconnected. As such, when the diversity of organisms within an ecosystem declines, so does the ecosystem’s ability to function and survive.” National Geographic Society
The opportunity to interact with and be inspired and influenced by the myriad of external influences in our diverse modern world is greater than ever before. It is essential to take the time to literally look outward to inspire an inner reflection on current practice and to motivate internal elevation. It is personally within our DNA to adapt and evolve, and our customers and clients are adapting and evolving also. We are all moving organisms within this constant process of homeostasis, and successful organisations must have resilience, stamina and a level of comfort with constant change built into their DNA. A growth mindset is not only desirable but essential, and the seeds for this expansion must be sewn, watered and cultivated daily.
The diversity within your team and organisation is a rich and bountiful resource to be nurtured and encouraged. Each team member is a doorway to a social group, family or tribe and, consequently, a porthole to alternative preferences, ways of doing, thinking and viewpoints. They are part of your “degrees of separation” that connect you with the world, and they allow and enable a broader, panoramic, more holistic view of that world.
While diversity is the different colours that constitute a painting, biodiversity is the way in which those colours interact with one another to contribute to the whole.
We invite you to consider the following questions:
In what areas of my organisation is diversity encouraged?
In what areas of my organisation are traditional mindsets, ways of operating and procedures preferred?
Would members of my team feel happier, more valued or more enthusiastic if more of their individuality was given room to express?
Expression of one's own uniqueness is a prerequisite for joy. A welcoming of diversity within our organisation moves us beyond mere tolerance and elevates our environment into a joyful dance of vibrant colour and positive energy, making work a pleasure and possibilities infinite.