In his article on the Lean Blog, Mark Graban illuminates the problem of the lack of respect for others at work and how – in this case within the Healthcare Industry at Virginia Mason – how that impacted customer (patient) care.
In order for people to feel enabled at work, they must be respected by their managers, leaders, and peers, to be effective and engaged. Besides being a basic human principle of civility, respect (at a minimum) and appreciation (more desirably) for others’ unique skills and energies is key to creating a highly-functioning team. Recognizing the value and strengths of others – even though they are different from our own – is essential to this process.
Equanimity is achieved by a mutual knowing, acknowledging, and valuing of each individual’s strengths and how they are aligned with team and corporate goals. Having a common vocabulary and leader-sponsored fora for sharing and leveraging those strengths facilitates this process.
Diversity is not just about race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or culture of origin – diversity occurs in skills and strengths. As these are recognized as attributes that are assets – and not something to be “accommodated” – the team’s capabilities and the company’s business results will concomitantly grow.
As the organization’s goals are aligned to their needs, the customers certainly will benefit as well.