Services - Diversity Planning & Evaluation

A Framework

Thomas Resolutions approaches cultural diversity as a universal dynamic in human interaction. Acknowledging, understanding and respecting different peoples of the world, their history and culture, heritage and ideas is an essential leadership competency in a 21st century world. With the advent of technology that allows instantaneous access to massive amounts of information and the latest socio-economic, and political developments around the globe, changing demographics domestically and internationally, emerging world markets and political powers, America and the world community must become more knowledgeable, understanding, and tolerant of a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic world community. In order to survive in peace, and thrive as a society our focus has to be on continuous learning and growth in this area.

No where is this more apparent than in the workplace and communities of research and higher education. In order to meet the demands and expectations of stakeholders, organizations for profit and not-for-profit now have a higher level of responsibility and accountability than in the past for fairness and equity in the process of meeting the organization’s mission, its short-term and long-term goals. Creativity, innovation, and efficiency are watch words of the forward-thinking organization. Diversity competencies are a requisite for leaders and teams on whom organizations depend to meet their organization’s mission, current and future goals.

As individuals and communities we have limited control over changing demographics, the history and heritage which shape the ways in which people who come from different life experiences view the world. It becomes our challenge and opportunity to learn how to take advantage of the good that can come from novel perspectives and different ways of approaching challenges to what is familiar to us, and opportunities to contribute to the betterment of organizations and the communities in which we live, domestic and global.

An Operational Definition

At its most basic level, the term ‘diverse’ means different, not the same as, unlike or heterogeneous. Until recent years many well-intended political leaders, social activists, sociologists and others perceived ‘assimilation, acculturation, and conformity ‘as the ideal ways to respond to diversity, as though to have different ideas, different beliefs, and approaches to life and to be different from the majority was somehow negative, not as good as, or inferior. In some instances we still refer to America as ‘a melting pot,’ implying that it is a good thing to give up aspects of our cultural diversity in order to fit into the status quo, and thereby create a society which blends differences into one conglomerate of sameness. The truth is that we inherently share many human characteristics which bind us together without our having to ‘give up’ our unique identities, our life experiences, our heritage and our history. The fabric of American society is stronger because of our diversity, not in spite of it.

At Thomas Resolutions we work with individuals and organizations to help expand their knowledge, understanding and respect for people and ideas that reflect diversity of perspective and experience. This approach to human interaction can lead to more creative, productive, and positive outcomes for all in the workplace and in society.

Historical Perspective

The 21st Century finds us a more enlightened people in this regard, thanks to the evolution of ideas about what it means to be different, in part as a result of society becoming better educated about historical castings of racial, ethnic and gender differences, sexual orientation, and levels of physical and mental ability. Much of this ‘evolution’ grew out of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s and the education, dialogue, and discussion of the legislative intent of equal opportunity laws in employment, housing and places of public accommodations. In contemporary times, the ongoing dialogue to better understand generational issues, issues of race and gender, religion and ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and other discernable elements of sociological and cultural diversity has helped to eliminate the artificial barriers erected by stereotypes, biases, and prejudice which still creep in occasionally to divide us rather than unite us. But, as we look toward the future, the more we interact with one another, and the better we understand each other, the closer we will come to a world where we ‘see differences’ and respect the inherent humanity of every person, even when we disagree with their views or actions. In other words, as a reality we will embrace diversity as a given and strive to capitalize on it, that is, make it work to the good of all.

Looking Forward

We now are in the midst of an era in which public policy impacts significantly on society and methods of garnering market share in the global economy. Acknowledging and championing the value of ‘thinking outside the box,’ and integrating the principles of diversity have become a part of our modus operandi. It is becoming more and more apparent that such approach leads to profitable discoveries, more cost effective ways of doing things, and ways of finding humane and sound solutions to the complex challenges of living in a smaller, more diverse world. Including and respecting people who have different life experiences, different perspectives and ideas is a big step toward raising the bar in human interactions in the workplace, in our communities, and in the world. To acknowledge that we are not a monolithic world where we must all be the same, think and act the same, is a first step toward making every effort to understand people and societies that are different from ours and reduces fear and misinterpretation of those differences. Recognizing that we do not have a monopoly on intelligence and answers to the world’s challenges better prepares us to harness our collective intelligence and experience to successfully meet societal challenges today and in the future. Reducing the fear of what we do not understand opens the door to better communication and a constructive approach to living and working in a world with finite resources, which if not respected and protected leave us with untenable alternatives. Together we can find common ground and viable solutions to the challenges that impact us all.

What We Offer to Help Organizations Raise the Bar in Diversity

Thomas Resolutions offers tailored services to support organizations that have recognized the untapped potential of diversity, human equity and inclusion in their organizations and who want to leverage that potential to their benefit, the benefit of their employees, and other stakeholders. We work with organizations to help provide more informed and competent leadership, develop more effective teams, motivate employees to contribute at a higher level of performance, and pro-actively decrease the occurrence and impact of costly, unresolved conflict. We do this through the following methods:

  • Policy and practice review and evaluation to determine whether they have the potential for an unintended chilling effect on stimulating creativity and innovation, on diversity and human equity or whether they support diversity in strategic recruitment, selection and hire, professional development and succession planning, bonuses and awards, and other terms and conditions of employment.
  • Assistance with strategic planning which integrates the principles of fairness, human equity and inclusion so they become an embedded element of the culture as the established way of thinking and doing things, and the expected business operation standard. Fairness, human equity and inclusion, opportunity for expression of diverse ideas and perspectives are assessed and feedback provided as to whether they are treated as every other business competency and organizational value in decision-making.
  • Executive coaching to support continuous learning and receptivity to the exploration of new ideas, innovations, and skill-sets which enhance the ability to lead and manage in a multi-cultural and diverse world.
  • Immediate feedback on the progress toward achievement of specific competencies, promoting cross-cultural communication, utilization of effective problem solving techniques, and acceptance of personal responsibility for decisions made.

Confidentiality, integrity, reliability and validity of the work we do and the results it produces constitute our signature commitment.