BY ROWENA CROSBIE, president, Tero International
In order to solve problems and live collaboratively, groups organize themselves with regard to values and beliefs. Values and beliefs drive how we expect life will look. These values and beliefs drive what we “see” when interacting with and observing people. Values determine what we pay attention to and how we act. Values determine the interpretation we assign to another person’s behavior
Differences in values mean differences not only in how but why people behave the way they do across cultures and groups. Even if we see similarities between cultures and groups, the similarities could be motivated by differing values.
Take this example: In Tokyo people wear face masks in winter so as not to pollute the air and infect others. The Japanese value harmony. In London, bikers wear masks so as not to be polluted by others. Londoners value individual liberty. The U.S.? Well, we have seen the controversy around face masks challenging people’s different perceptions of the value of independence.
Our own values act like a pair of sunglasses. Going through life with these sunglasses on, we respond to the world through the lens of our values.
Our lens, though protective, blocks us from seeing clearly. It has us deem “correct” those things we are more familiar with. Yet the world and people operate in many different ways that include differing yet equally correct perspectives. It all depends on which sunglasses you are wearing as to how you view the world, and what you see as “right.”
On Nov. 6 Business Record , Urban Dreams and Tero are joining to host for metro leaders and their teams the first in a series of interactive business strategy discussions called the Executive Vision Series. The focus of the program? How do we make sure we have true diversity equity and inclusion in our organizations?
Our first session will explore answers to the following questions:
What values might our organization see as “right” or “familiar” when it comes to recognition and promotion?
What might we be missing?
Do we have a strategy to become more innovative, relevant and fair when it comes to marginalized populations being recognized and promoted within our systems?
With the expertise of Urban Dreams we will focus on diversity, equity and inclusion with regard to the Black population within our organizations. The discussions throughout the summit will help us then take a new informed perspective to all aspects of diversity within our organizations.
A few months ago I challenged everyone with the question “If not now when?” when it came to taking inclusion and equity seriously. I repeat that challenge. Understanding the impact of values on how we see and how we act in our organization is a significant and necessary first action. We are thrilled with the response to the Executive Vision Series, and meeting with all of you who have also determined now is the time.