A couple of weeks ago I posed in the weekly blog whether you are transactional or transformation based. While I contended that the new climate we are in mandated that you shift your focus from being totally transactional focused to being transformational focused, the events of the past week tells me that to some degree we need to continue the transactional focus.
Whether your focus is the TLS Continuum and process improvement or being innovative in the development of relationships with customers and stakeholders or just plain every day dealings with fellow members of society we risk the danger of failure if we either by oversight or intentional actions exclude any segment of our environment from involvement in our efforts.
The late poet Adrienne Rich wrote in one of her poems “ when someone with the authority of a teacher (substitute manager, co-worker, neighbor) describes the world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium as if you looked into a mirror and saw nothing.” This is what happens when we view segments of our organizations or society as less than we are. This is what happens when an airline crew asks for medical assistance and the crew suggests that an African American woman can’t possibly be a medical professional. This is what happens when we create an atmosphere where sexual harassment is not only present but condoned by management. This is what happens when we pre-determine that if someone looks differently then us, speaks differently then us, believes differently then us they are not important. This is what happens when we base our operations on exclusion instead of inclusion.
A critical part of the improvement process and the alignment to corporate strategy, culture and visions is that everyone has an equal footing to the process. A critical part of society is that we recognize the value each and every one of us plays in the success of our lives. Calls for revolution if things don’t go exactly as we planned it or deciding that the proper way to resolve an issue is to ignore the views of your fellow human capital assets doesn’t show our belief in a community based on common interests.
The ultimate goal of the three pillars in the title of the blog is that we have a sense of ownership in the process. The goal is that each and every one of us is vital to the process. When by words, policies, or actions we suggest that someone is less than that, we are like the person who looks into the mirror and sees nothing. When by words, policies or actions we tell someone that they are not worthy of our respect, our support and time we demean that improvement effort. We demean the intent to innovate. We demean society. There was a time and place when these actions were deemed the society norms but this is neither that time nor that place. Whether it is the person who is of a different religion, a different race, a different belief system, a different sex we all deserve to be an equal part of the environment in which we live and operate.