The Loudest Duck: Moving Beyond Diversity While Embracing Differences to Achieve Success at Work," by Laura Liswood
I really enjoyed reading this book to get a clear view on meaning of “diversity” with good examples. When talk about diversity at workplace we think many elements like national origin, gender, culture, religion, language, marital status, age etc. Sometimes this seems a complex issue to manage. Laura mentions that variety of elements as Noah’s Ark. As you know, most of companies are trying to attract and hire “enough” different groups on the boat. So I really liked this similitude as Noah’s Ark from this perspective.
Ok, you have finally achieved your diversity targets and getting different people in your company as you planned. Congratulations! But how do you manage this diversity now? Can you create a fair level playing field for this diverse workforce? I think this is a much bigger challenge than achieving targets on paper.
Laura says that “My book explains why companies have to be far more thoughtful about their diverse workforce and how they are perceived in order to create a level playing field for all. It is not the diversity that is the challenge; it is how we handle the diversity that speeds some people's careers up and slows others down. And usually it can be seen in the phenomenon of like being comfortable and looking favorably on others who are like them”
In this book, Laura also advises us to tell our Grandma to go home. Because Grandma teaches many beliefs and do/don’ts to us in our early ages and we cannot get rid of these subconscious or conscious things easily. So Grandma’s doctrines are coming to workplace with us every day. For example; Grandma teaches the Chinese to be modest. They are taught from early on that "the Loudest Duck gets shot." But in a diverse American company, the American male manager hears the wheel and not the duck. Because Grandma teaches American men that he should trumpet his successes at work. In this environment, there should be mechanism to listen dominant and non-dominant groups and get best of this diversity in a proper way.
Especially in these days which there are more and more diverse workplaces in the world, I believe all leaders and employees should read this book to get some inspiration how to contribute and lead diversity management in their teams and companies.
Thanks to Laura for this useful book !