Most businesses seem to be organized in a traditional pyramid hierarchy like a football team. In this team model, those at the top of the pyramid (coach/CEO) attempt to drive outcomes by “calling the plays” and expecting that the rest of the team follows a formal playbook. This model has served the business world well by certain organizational measures, however, such organizations also may suffer when management from a distance confounds effective daily operations.
Top-down organizations are by no means the only way to achieve success as demonstrated by companies such as Semco where empowered teams can move forward confidently and independently. Approaches such as Dynamic Governance facilitate the crafting of policy through inclusive decision-making that links team objectives to broad goals of the firm. Teams are then permitted to achieve results through self-organization and management on a day-to-day basis without seeking or requiring further involvement from the executive level while observing policy that they helped formulate.
If a traditional business organization is rightly analogous to a football team, then perhaps the ancient sport of wrestling provides a different viewpoint that can create a business edge. Consider some key differences in perspective that a wrestling team model offers:
BNNano of Burlington, NC is one of only two firms in the United States that manufacture high-purity boron nitride nanotubes, a very rare material with virtually unlimited applications from industry and the military to medical technology.
In less than one year, the BNNano founders started the firm, funded their venture through a private raise, set up manufacturing and closed their first customer orders. They had created a great product in record time and were ready to get the word out and support their sales activities.
A startup company with a new product and restricted resources, BNNano was facing challenges that are typical of many such firms today.
Diversity and Inclusion (DI) is a high-interest pursuit in corporate America today, in large part because the benefits can be substantial. According to a Forbes article, diversity and inclusion research has revealed that:
- Inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87% of the time.
- Teams that follow an inclusive process make decisions 2X faster with 1/2 the meetings.
- Decisions made and executed by diverse teams delivered 60% better results.
Even with the many benefits that diversity and inclusion offer, you may still be facing challenges in your DI initiatives.
Diversity Best Practices notes that newly recruited underrepresented employees are not staying with their employers very long, and people are neither working well together nor trusting each other across cultural lines. Further, DI training that was expected to improve understanding, awareness, and sensitivity to others has “yielded limited success.”
So how can simulated business training strengthen your Diversity & Inclusion initiatives?