I have truly enjoyed reading None of Us Is as Good as All of Us. The book, written by McDonald’s Global Chief Diversity Officer, chronicles the corporation’s history in diversity initiatives. The chapters are brief and clearly describe how the company has created its success.
In this prior post, I focused on Patricia Harris’ three main ingredients for successful diversity policies and practices in the workplace.
- Support from the Top
- Training is Key
- Networks are Invaluable
As I continue to read Harris’ stories of McDobald’s history of achievements, I have decided to add a pinch of this and a dash of that to the original recipe.
The description of the African American experience at McDonald’s reminded me that organizations need to be aware of respetive strengths and weaknesses. If dealing with issues of diversity is not your organization’s forte, then look externally for experts and resources. McDonald’s leadership knew that they were not prepared to manage its initial corporate strategy for racial diversity. They weren’t ashamed to acknowledge this & pursue external consultants – with strong support from top organizational leaders.
The description of the Hispanic American experience at McDonald’s also emphasized a critical ingredient for creating successful diversity policies and practices in the workplace. Embrace the differences; do not force or encourage assimilation. McDonald’s did not force 100% consistency across its franchises. For example, a franchise serving a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood (in LA’s Echo Park) featured bilingual menus and hot sauce at each table. The corporate headquarters understood that the franchise owners knew the different needs of their customer base. McDonald’s, a company devoted to maximizing standardization, even knows the importance of encouraging diversity.
McDonald’s final ingredient was a broad definition of diversity. It wasn’t just about skin color or gender. McDonald’s expanded its efforts across different abilities/disabilities, ages, sexual orientation, nationalities, and other characteristics. McDonald’s has proven that if you want to be an organization that serves everyone, you must be an organization that employees everyone and at ALL levels of leadership.
That is why a McJob is a really a McOpportunity for anyone and everyone.
Does your organization provide opportunities for everyone? Do you have all your ingredients prepared for success in workplace diversity?
I encourage you to look to McDonald’s as a stand-out organization exemplifying how diversity is not just the right thing to do…BUT is also the pathway for successful organzational practices (across all sectors).
What’s your favorite ingredient? Please leave a comment with your recommendation for developing a workplace that embraces and leverages diversity for success.