A product development team found itself suddenly ill with hot politics and divisions. Working at a leading manufacturing of industrial and medical products in the U.S., the team had all the human resources needed to succeed:
Mike: VP of marketing and a well-established executive
Susan: mid-level female accountant
Amy: newly hired female biomedical engineer
Tom: mid-level male production manager with a degree in industrial engineering
Amy was passionate about biomedical innovation. However, her passion was in clear conflict with Tom. He was strongly committed to the industrial side of the company. Tom was against investing in new medical products. He wanted to improve the company´s existing products for the gas and oil industry.
Mike had executive meetings to plan marketing strategies. Clearly the top management team favored the medical side of the company. They considered this strategy core for business growth. In contrast, the industrial side was perceived as a less competitive function.
What should Mike have done differently? Great leaders recognize 4 scenarios of diversity. They manage the challenges of diversity and maximize its opportunities.
My new article published in Human Relations describes these 4 scenarios on challenges versus the benefits of working with people different from you.