diversity management

Diversity is a buzzword, a lightening rod and a reality.

assessment

Particularly after WW2, mass migration has made most societies in the planet heterogeneous and diverse. While many recognize that diverse societies are innovative, culturally rich, economically vibrant and even more fun to live in, few are willing to do the critical thinking and hard work necessary to make them function as cohesive social units.


Somewhere along the line we started believing that we could force groups to 'get along' by relying on the protection of minority rights or, even more optimistically, preaching the good word of 'tolerance'. While effective legislation for the protection of human rights and its enforcement by the state is a basic necessity for civilized society, most folks who have lived through middle and high school know that no amount of official coercion is likely to make people like or even understand each other. Similarly the plethora of platitudes, well meaning as they may be, do not help engender anything more than the most superficial sense of 'brotherhood', citizenship or contribute to peace in the community, state or the globe. Despite the wholly laudable sentiments of John Lennon, may he rest in peace.

Meta-Culture's approach towards managing diversity goes beyond the policing of behaviour and speech or earnest attempts at preaching 'good virtues'. Our experience shows that:

  1. Where there are common interests organizations, communities and societies need to establish complex inter-connections between groups that can help creative constructive
    inter-dependence. These include economic, political and cultural connections that can over time develop into enduring symbiotic relationships.
  2. Where there are competing interests or differing worldviews, genuine Dialogue is the only way sustainable agreements and mutual co-existence can be created. A purely rights based approach can increase unhealthy competitiveness whereas an interest based approach that allows the polarized groups to engage in constructive and principled negotiation has the potential for yielding solid agreements between clashing groups.

Meta‑Culture consultants use Dialogue Facilitation, Mediation and Consensus Building to help competing groups achieve their goals and meet genuine interests.

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  • FAQs
    Why should historically marginalized groups trust that dominant groups will live up to the agreements that come out of any Dialogue or Mediation?
    The beauty of Dialogue and Mediation is that nobody is forced or pressured to agree on anything. This has the effect of making any agreement that does come, one that is freely entered into and hence sustainable. Furthermore these processes are transformative in that while people may come into Dialogue with a uni-dimensional perspective to avenge, punish, vent or persuade, the process helps them develop a multi-dimensional perspective that leaves many of them with a better understanding of the 'other'. This deeper and more complex understanding builds empathy which, in turn, provides the basis for richer and more sustainable agreements.
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META SPEAK

Each one of us is walking around with a million stories of our own heroic struggles against adversity, tales of unfairness and trauma, not to mention our need for vengeance and validation. Our tragedy as humans is that few, even our closest friends, are interested in listening to us, because their need for being heard and validated is as great as or greater than ours. When we listen to our 'enemies' and even try to understand them, we give them a gift of honest and complex understanding that they rarely receive even from their families and allies (who often seem to agree with them because of allegiance and not because of true understanding). This is where the power of Dialogue comes from.