Diversity, Creativity and Success

Otowi Bridge, NM Chapter

Michael Adams is a husband, and father to three boys. He currently works for Los Alamos County as an IT Business Analyst and Project Manager. He also operates a small business performing computer maintenance. Professionally, Michael has led a construction crew, worked as a caregiver for disabled adults, operated the wire for a brokerage firm on Wall Street, and run the night audit at a hotel. Michael was elected to serve as VP of Education for his local PMI board in 2013. He now serves as President Elect for his chapter, PMI Otowi Bridge. Check out his blog, PM-Interface, on ProjectManagement.com.

In the December 2013 issue of Harvard Business Review, Sylvia Ann Hewlett said “Leaders who give diverse voices equal airtime are nearly twice as likely as others to unleash value-driving insights.” Originally, I imagined an article about diversity in project management. However, as I considered what to say, I realized that project environments are only as diverse as the larger work environment in which they exist. Diversity in project management is inextricable from diversity in the workplace.

The word “diversity” enjoys a sort of super status. It’s cool. It’s hip. Seemingly, every employer wants more diversity. In fact, the internet is stuffed with articles explaining how to encourage workforce diversity. The ideal is alluring. However, the practicality remains unembraced. Seemingly, we want the benefits of diversity without the responsibility or hard work required to create a diverse environment.

That being said, many readers may be nodding and thinking, “He’s right, but we really do want to diversify.” This may be true or it may not. Let’s explore what diversity requires before you commit.

Diversity has many subjective meanings, but Merriam-Webster offers this: “The condition of having or being composed of differing elements: Variety: especially: the inclusion of different types of people (as people …

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