This article was originally published on LinkedIn by Donald Thompson on June 26, 2019.
Diversity and inclusion has become quite a trending topic in our global society in the last decade but especially in the workplace. Including, acknowledging, and implementing various backgrounds, skills, history, and cultures is in an imperative effort that any business leader should be employing not for the sake of inclusion, but because it translates to success. I just released my first eBook, A Business Leader’s Guide to Driving Diversity Inclusion in the Workplace, which shares my thoughts on the practical results on the subject.
I started my career as one of few African-Americans in the technology industry in the mid-1990s, growing a local software firm from 16 employees to 130 before leading it’s acquisition to a global tech firm. I wanted this book to encapsulate what diversity means in the modern workplace and how all types of leaders and professionals of diversity can benefit from embracing this concept.
There’s all different slices of diversity. If you’re attacking complex problems in any environment, the different types of thinking coalesced against a common goal are going to give you a stronger positive outcome. I talked about this strategy in a recent episode of my podcast Hustle Unlimited, noting that if you’re going to build something great, then it should be great enough to be inclusive. If you’re going to build an amazing company, it should be amazing enough that it’s inclusive. If your goals are big enough then the tent should be large. Diversity of perspective, background, ethnicity or gender creates an environment where more powerful ideas are developed because you have a better point of view when making decisions.
I credit my mentors and colleagues as important factors in the equation to my success. I believe that taking the time to understand different cultures, thought processes and ideas cultivates an environment where people are more capable of creating unique and deviceful solutions. These beliefs, along with my second eBook that focuses on a methodology to communicate effectively, solve challenges and make better decisions, are just part of sharing the experience and lessons I’ve learned along the way. The reason that the eBook is free is that I have been very fortunate in terms of how to create income and grow companies. Building this book out and this message is just part of the give-back of what I owe for any success that I’ve had. Both books can be downloaded for free at donaldthompson.com.